Kitchen Resolutions To Keep In 2017

It’s 2017! And with the New Year often comes a list of resolutions. We’ve come up with some good habits and guidelines to practice in your kitchen so you can start your year off right!

1. Don’t Procrastinate

"JUST DO IT" on chalkboard

Most of us usually have that one project in the backs of our minds that we just never seem to get to. Weather it’s a DIY paint fix-up, cleaning behind the stove, or replacing a major appliance, just do it. It’s time to get it done and feel the weight lifted off!

2. Do The Dishes Before Bed

Dirty pots and pans stacked in kitchen sink

It’s very easy, especially after a long day to just say, “I’ll clean this up tomorrow”. Make it a point not go to bed with dishes in the sink anymore. Become better at cleaning as you go to prevent an intimidating mountain from forming in your sink.

3. Stay Organized

Pantry shelves organized with baskets, plastic containers, and jars
Provide yourself with the tools you’ll need to create easier access in your kitchen, and ones that will help you maintain a clean environment.

4. Clean Up A Little Each Day

Wood floor, broom, feet

Little tasks along the way can make larger cleaning projects much easier in the long run. For example, sweep the floors everyday, clean up any spills as they happen, and wipe the counters with a disinfectant cloth after every use.

5. Prevent Sink Build Up

Hand in orange dish glove cleaning kitchen sink with a blue sponge

Kitchen sinks go through a lot of wear and tear. Build up happens, and happens fast. Clean your sink on a regular basis to prevent mold, soap scum, and grime.

6. Plan Out Larger Cleaning Tasks

PLAN OUT LARGER CLEANING TASKS
Woman's hand in yellow dish glove using orange microfiber clothe on counter
Create a calendar of cleaning tasks that should be done on a weekly and monthly basis to promote the longevity of your kitchen and appliances.

7. Keep Fridge Organized

Well organized contents in fridge

Don’t let food go to waste! Avoid spoiled food and unpleasant odors by keeping everything in sight and well organized. A good practice is to rid your fridge of any past due items and reorganize before putting new groceries away.

8. Donate

Dried and canned goods in paper grocery bags

Are excessive canned goods taking up space in your pantry? Take them in and donate to your local food bank. It’s important to help others. This is a small start, but one that will go a long way.

9. Take On Cooking Ventures

Traditional Indian cuisine on tray atop wood surface, bright pink cloth

Allow yourself to experiment with dishes you’ve always wanted to test out, and don’t be afraid to fail. Take on a challenging baking project, or maybe even sign up for an ethnic cooking class.

10. Treat Yourself

Silver kitchenaid mixer on wood surface, oranges, white mixing bowl

Splurge on something you’ve had your eye on. It’s important to give yourself a gift once in a while!

What are some of your kitchen resolutions for 2017?

10 Must-Have Kitchen Accessories For The Chef In You

If you’re among the many of us who love to cook, chances are you feel like a kid in a candy shop when you walk into a kitchen supply store. We’ve made an exciting list of kitchen accessories that improve convenience and amplify the fun of making meals.

#1: Mandolin Slicer

White mandolin with apples
This amazing tool can cut your produce into paper-thin slices, as well as julienne. A mandolin always get a perfect cut, and not to mention save loads of time!

#2: Vitamix Blender

Vitamix against white tile walls, milk bottle, berries
From soups, to smoothies, to frozen margaritas, this blender does it all. The Vitamix is an easy to use, self-cleaning, heavy duty, high speed blender. If you blend often, the price is worth totally worth it, as it will last you a lifetime. Don’t be afraid to get down and dirty with this device, it can handle just about anything you throw its way.

#3: Juicer

Black and chrome Omega juicer, juices, pasta, dips
The Omega Nutrisystem masticating juicer extracts juice by intensely squeezing produce so that it still retains all of its vital nutrients. Not only will this device deliver the highest quality juice to your body, it also comes with an attachment that allows you to extrude pasta!

4: KitchenAid Stand Mixer

Copper KitchenAid, silver bowl, flowers
Make baking a breeze with the mess reducing KitchenAid stand up mixer. This powerful machine comes with multiple attachments so it can perform different tasks. You’ll never have to hand knead heavy dough, or hold the beaters in place while making whipped cream again.

#5: Dehydrator

White dehydrator, cranberries
Avoid the additives and dehydrate your own fruits! Even make veggie chips or other healthy snacks in this multifunctional device.

#6: Emersion Blender

Cuisinart emersion blender, wood surface, grey wall
This is a great tool for when you have small batches of spreads or sauce the need to be blitzed up with ease. Emersion blenders are easy to use, easy to clean, and fun to use!

#7: Sushi Roller

Sushi roller, white background, sushi rolls
Stop struggling with traditional sushi mats, and get a perfect roll every time with this fail proof device. Not only does this contraption roll sushi, it can roll up almost anything you can think of.

#8: Blow Torch

Blowtorch, crème brulee
This one is absolutely necessary. You just can’t get the crispy layer atop a crème brulee, or the toasty meringue on a baked Alaska without a blowtorch, you just can’t. That’s not all this tool can do, use a blowtorch to melt the gruyere on French onion soup, or to quick roast veggies and remove their skins, the possibilities are endless.

#9: Multi-Chopper

White multi-chopper, potato
Whether you’re just whipping up some weeknight mirepoix or planning on making the perfect batch of French fries, this gadget is great for cutting prep time in half.

#10: Deep Fryer

Deep fryer with fries, sweet potato fries, white ramekin
What better to go with your perfect French fries than a deep fryer? Fry up anything from French fries, to chicken, to donuts! Deep fryers allow you to make your indulgent favorites right in the comfort of your own home.

What kitchen tools can’t you live without?

How to Rock Leather in the Kitchen

Leather is a primitive resource. Originally used by hunters and gatherers all over the world to make tools, clothing, and shelter, it has quickly become a favorite texture in the modern world. Over the years, humans have refined the process of leather tanning to transform it into different shades and textures, thus procuring an attainable, versatile, and timeless material. Leather expresses both masculinity and femininity, making itself a universal product throughout fashion and home decor. Since kitchen appliances tend to be cool by nature, try balancing the room with a bit of warmth. Below are some artistic ways to add an organic touch to your kitchen by incorporating leather.

Shelf Hangers

Floating shelves with beige leather straps, white dishes with blue pattern, baskets

Floating shelves are all the rage amongst many different design cultures. Hung by leather straps, these shelves add a contemporary edge to a bare wall. Display everything from dishes, to books, to plants with these floating shelves.

Cabinet Pulls

White kitchen drawers with leather pulls, plant

Leather may not be the first thing that comes to mind when deciding on kitchen hardware. Leather cabinet pulls however, are a great way to bring a soft and stylish touch to your kitchen cabinets.

Chairs

Leather chairs around dining table, white kitchen, wood floors

Modern and functional, leather chairs are a welcome addition to any dining room table. It’s a great way to steer away from harder materials if comfort is what you’re after, while maintaining a matching color profile for your wooden accents.

Coasters

Hexagonal leather coasters, white mug, and plant on marble counter

Flexible, soft, and undeniably trendy, these leather coasters are the rewarding product of an afternoon DIY project. Try out different shapes and colors to attain multiple sets.

Pendant Light Shades

Leather pendant light shade, brick wall, circular window

These light shades truly showcase the unlimited and ingenious uses of leather. Wether it be your lighting or your most loved coffee cup, almost anything can be adorned in leather.

Place Settings

Cloth napkin and rosemary sprig tied with leather strap

If you’re planning on hosting a dinner party, this is a delicately creative way to bring leather into the mix. These custom place settings are chic, practical, and easy to make, not to mention reusable!

Labels

Leather plant tag "basil"

Get crafty by making your own labels. Cut out bands or tags to identify fresh herbs, dried food goods, unlabeled bottles, or to add a personal touch to your favorite mug.

Skillet Handle

Leather skillet glove on cast iron pan, electric stove

Cast iron skillets have long been a staple of quality in kitchenware. Unfortunately they do come with one downfall; their handles get incredibly hot! Keep your hands safe from heat with this authentic leather pot handle slip.

Apron

Leather apron

This apron is a perfect accessory for your inner butcher. Keep your tools handy and your clothes clean beneath this grill master’s must-have garment.

How have you incorporated leather in your kitchen?

8 Questions To Ask Your Contractor Before Starting a Kitchen Remodel

Couple with kitchen contractor
So your dream kitchen vision is finally becoming a reality. Here are a handful of valuable questions to ask a kitchen contractor before you sign on the dotted line. These essential inquiries suggested by Kitchen Cabinet Kings will help ensure that your budget stays in check, that your home is properly secured while strangers are working and that you get your kitchen back in a timely manner.

1. How do you break down your bid?

Some contractors will supply you with an overall quote, but that’s not the best way to go if you want to make sure your contractor isn’t overcharging. Ask your contractor to itemize the bid (to breakdown every cost) to better understand what you’re getting charged for.

2. Are there extra costs outside your quote?

Before you lock in with a contractor, make sure he or she isn’t going to add on extra fees without asking you first. Some contractors charge for things such as demolition, junk removal, painting and other tasks. In some cases, you may be able to handle these things yourself to avoid extra charges.
Kitchen estimate on clipboard

3. Who are your suppliers?

This is an important question to ask so that you can do some research and make sure his or her suppliers are reliable. You’ll want to make sure your contractor works with suppliers who carry the cabinets you like and offer quality guarantees and warranties. Conduct a quick background check or ask around to learn more about each supplier’s reputation.

4. Who will be in my home during the project?

Depending on the size of the contracting company, you may have between one and five workers in your home every day. If you have children or pets, it’s important that you get to know your contracting team before allowing them to enter your home. Once hired, you want to secure a plan with the team to make sure they’re properly locking doors, securing pets and keeping materials out of harm’s way.

5. How long will the project take?

It’s only natural to want a detailed timeline of your cabinet installation. Time contractors take in your home is time spent away from your kitchen, and it can be hard to spend several weeks eating out. You may even consider setting parameters for your contractor and asking for discounts and other incentives if work isn’t completed in the timeframe you’ve agreed upon.
Kitchen remodel in progress

6. Do you offer a warranty?

Some contractors will guarantee their work with written warranties. If they don’t offer one at the outset, make sure you request one to protect your kitchen from sub-par workmanship or low-quality materials.

7. Can you provide references?

If the potential contractor wasn’t recommended to you by someone you trust, it’s perfectly acceptable to do a little reference work yourself. If your contractor is happy to supply references, give past clients a call and gauge their overall feelings on the completed work.

8. Are you insured?

Generally speaking, it is unwise to hire contractors that are not licensed, bonded and insured. When a contractor is licensed, should the contractor fail to complete the work or doesn’t do the job properly, you may be able to recoup costs associated with the work and materials.

5 Easy Ways To Make Space In Your Tiny Kitchen

Are you racing against the clock every morning? Does disorganization prevent you from getting out the door when you’re ten minutes late for work? Do you find it difficult to move swiftly and efficiently through your kitchen without knocking over a tower of precariously placed dishes? Time to put an end to this unnecessary stress! Follow these simple principles to maximize space in your kitchen.

De-Clutter

F;oating wood shelves above white tile backsplash

This is the MOST important step people. It is an absolute must to rid your cabinets and drawers of junk that’s only getting in your way. Are you actually going to bust out that pasta maker you bought yourself for christmas four years ago? Do you seriously think you’re going to order enough take-out to use up the endless supply of sauce packets in your cutlery drawer? Don’t kid yourself. No matter how big or small, if you haven’t used it in the past six months it needs to go. Finish discarding from top to bottom before you start purchasing organizational items.

Proper Containers

Dried goods in glass jars with white hand written labels

It’s almost impossible to keep pantry stock tidy when you’re dealing with torn packaging and bulk bags. Stock up on glass jars and air tight containers for storing dried goods (stackable containers are a plus). This helps you keep track of inventory while also keeping food fresh.

Make Most Frequently Used Items Easily Accessible

Wire rack with kitchen supply and fern against white wall

If you’re constantly reaching and rummaging for items you use on a daily basis you’re doing something wrong. Keep your most valued players up front and center. This goes for dishes, food, and anything else you use frequently. If your cabinets don’t offer enough space for optimum organization, a tall wire rack can be very useful.

Keep Surfaces Clear

Kitchen tools on hanging bar against black wall

When you live in a pocket sized apartment it’s important to make use of every nook and cranny. To use your limited space wisely you need to think outside the box, horizontal-ly and vertically. Hang anything that has the potential to hang. Supply yourself with tools and appliances that give you the ability to use your ceilings and walls as storage; floating fruit basket, magnetic knife strip, wall mounting bars/racks, etc. Keeping sur-faces clear helps to create a stress-free environment for cooking and dining.

Add A Little Love

Hanging and standing potted plants in kitchen

Okay, this one may not exactly be a space-saving technique, but once your kitchen is organized and free of clutter why not have fun with it? Add a few plants to your window sill, or perhaps some tea lights to bring a poetic edge to the room. Take pleasure in find-ing trendy, inexpensive do-it-yourself projects that complement your space and make it your own!
What are your tips for surviving a small kitchen?

Slay Your Kitchen Decor Game With These 8 Statement Pieces

I walked into a friend’s home the other day and immediately noticed a quirky art piece hanging on the wall above his stove – a wooden cutting board in the silhouette of a donkey with a knife sticking straight out of it, suspended in air. It was the sort of thing that made me stop, think, and chuckle a bit. Needless to say, it definitely injected a sense of joie de vivre into his otherwise run of the mill, no-frills New York City rental kitchen.

In fact, statement decor is essential to a balanced and completed kitchen design project. You can spend thousands of dollars on new cabinets, countertops, and appliances; but, if you simply stop there, your newly renovated kitchen might as well be a model home showroom devoid of personality. Conversely, the most basic of kitchens can transform into charming, compelling spaces with just one of the additions on our list. Bonus points: some are functional and beautiful. First up…

1. Think an oversized wall clock

English country kitchen with stainless steel, rustic wood, and oversized clock
In the age of iPhone and Amazon Echo (hello, Alexa!) whatever happened to gorgeous timepieces? In the photo above, this English-inspired home in Laguna beach has beautifully crafted cabinets and state of the art appliances. But the real standout piece is the huge, distressed clock with Roman numerals leaning up against the wall above the range. We love how it’s casually flanked by vintage glass jugs and handmade ceramics, adding to the rustic yet curated vibe. Plus, you’ll always know exactly what time it is.

2. Say it in neon

Bacon has electrolytes too neon sign office kitchen with exposed brick wall
Tbh, this office kitchenette isn’t stylish in the least with its laminate countertops and cheap-o cabinets. But, the space’s divey-ness is embraced with the addition of a cheeky neon sign. This trend is popping up everywhere and there are even sites where you can custom order your own. We suggest rendering one in your favorite quote. The added lighting it provides doesn’t hurt, either.

3. Mixing in art on open shelves

White kitchen with marble countertops and open shelving with art and glassware display
These shelves are home to not only the prettiest coffee cups and champagne flutes ever, but blur the lines between form and function with framed black and white sketches casually leaned against the walls. When displaying useful items like plates and glasses, adding in decorative vases, flowers, and figurines can break up the monotonousness.

4. Jazz up the space between the counter (and often under the cabinets)

Pale, black and white minimalistic kitchen with artistic portraits
Admittedly, the light-filled kitchen above doesn’t need much help in the way of #slay. But, if you mentally remove the two raw and striking framed sketches, the space would feel entirely different. Decide on the vibe you want to convey (in this case the owners chose to extend the stark minimalism of the fixtures to the art) and hang pieces in the oft-forgotten space directly above the counter.

5. Wallpaper it up

White micro kitchen with bright floral wallpaper
This adorable micro-kitchen would be completely lovely and normal sans wallpaper. But, the addition of a colorful, Scandinavian-esque pattern lends originality and vibrancy. The key here is a contained pop of brightness contrasted with all-white surroundings, almost like a wall-sized painting hung right above the backsplash. Were the entire kitchen covered in this wallpaper, the effect would be overwhelming.

6. Decals for grownups

Sleek white and black kitchen with whip it good decal
Think of this as a temporary tattoo for your kitchen. (The Tattly kind, not the kind you covered your arms with in grade school.) This saucy decal serves as the perfect reminder to take life less seriously and have a laugh. When you tire of it, simply swap it out for another; these leave zero residue on the walls and won’t damage your paint job.

7. Duct Tape (Yes, you read that right) your appliances

DIY kitchen decor idea with gold duct tape refrigerator
This is the perfect DIY project for anyone with one of those ugly white basic rental refrigerators. Simply buy a roll of gold duct tape and measure out evenly spaced stripes. The result is an incredibly chic, preppy look that will be the standout piece in any kitchen. Don’t have the right type of refrigerator? You can do this to your white shelves, toasters, microwaves, etc. Just limit the effect to one appliance only.

Black and white country kitchen with colorful vintage kilim rug

8. Floor art AKA a rug is essential

We’ve waxed poetic about our love for colorful rugs on the KCK Blog before and their transformative properties. This kitchen would not be the same were another rug displayed, or no rug at all. Beyond being a focal point for the room, rugs prevent slipping, a real hazard in the kitchen. Just be sure to layer a grip-heavy rug pad underneath.

How would you rate your kitchen decor game? Will you give any of these ideas a test-drive? We’d love to hear your tricks in the comments below.

8 Kitchen Items You Can Banish Right Now (and Feel Great About After)

Woman opening refrigerator in bright and sunny family kitchen
The first day of spring is rapidly approaching and I’ve been overcome with a frenetic energy to get rid of everything that’s not contributing to my life anymore. That means reaching back to the recesses of the cabinets, digging into the depths of the freezer, and questioning anything that take up kitchen real estate. Arguably, everything that takes up physical space also occupies mental space, which is quite a revelation if you think about how much clutter you possess.

Ask yourself: Why not be free of it? After all, spring is the season of renewal. In order to welcome new kitchen design/decor projects, we must first make room for them. Here are eight things in your kitchen that have gotten totally stale. Time to hit the refresh button!

1. Crappy Tupperware

I opened a drawer and it was a visual assault of cheapo takeout containers plus real but orphaned Tupperware pieces. The drawer stopped closing because several lids slipped into the black hole behind the drawer. Solution: After removing the entire drawer and fishing out the lids, I ditched the takeout containers (harmful to microwave anyway,) threw away anything I didn’t have a matching set (lid + container) of, and stacked all the lids together up against the inside front of the drawer to avoid losing them again.

2. Freezer-burned food

Like, ew. Just toss it. You’ll never eat those Parmesan pigs-in-a-blanket pastry puffs you bought once for a party anyway. Solution: If you have loose items like hamburger buns, simply put them in a Ziploc bag and label with a Sharpie.

3. Ineffective cleaning products

Peek under your sink. I know it’s scary, but take a hard look at what’s there. I personally have a vinegar-y cleaning solution that my mom made which smells just terrible. Tossed. Also, all my cleaning products were half knocked over like a set of sad bowling pins that someone forgot to reset. Solution: After making edits to my cleaning arsenal, I corralled it all into a clear plastic box. That way, any rings left over by liquids or spills are contained and don’t damage my cabinetry.

4. Cookbooks you never cook from

Cookbooks are known for being vibrant and colorful. No one gets excited about making a pasta dish from a black and white photograph. However, that means that all the cookbooks you’ve hoarded over the years may be causing a visual traffic jam on your kitchen shelf. Solution: Get rid of the cookbooks you haven’t opened in a year and rearrange the remaining ones by color, light to dark from left to right. You’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes.

5. Multiples!

I have two vegetable peelers! And two wine bottle openers. Why?? Solution: throw everything extra you have in a bag and give it to someone who just moved into their first apartment and is just starting from scratch.

6. Chipped cups, old pots and pans

One day, I left something boiling for too long in a pot. The result was a very burnt bottom. My frying pan is in a similar condition. Pots and pans have shelf lives and it’s probably not healthy to keep cooking with them. Solution? Trash them and buy new ones. You can get great deals at discount stores like Home Goods or Marshalls.

7. Mold or grease buildup in grout

So this last one isn’t a kitchen item, per se but definitely something you need to banish. The tiling on my kitchen floor and backsplash needs a good cleaning after splashes of oil and food stain buildup. Solution? I plan to tackle them with my secret weapon: Magic Erasers!

8. That thing you paid too much for but never use

Hate to break it to you, but keeping it isn’t going to bring your money back. One Christmas, my dad bought me a gorgeous white KitchenAid stand mixer. I had hopes and dreams of making homemade Chinese dumplings. The mixer also looked really impressive just sitting on my marble counter. But each time I looked at it I was just reminded that I wasn’t ever going to make the dumplings. Instead of living with the guilt of not using the mixer, I gave it to my mom who gleefully kneads loaves of fresh bread with it each week.

If you’re still having trouble parting with items, this is just an emotional barrier that you can totally get past. Remember, you don’t have to throw everything away. Better to pass some items along to people who will actually get joy out of them. What have you banished already?

Five Signs Your Kitchen Lighting is All Wrong

Bright natural skylight white kitchen

Ah, lighting. Chances are, the current lighting in your kitchen isn’t doing anyone any favors.

Great lighting is one of the most elusive, yet rewarding goals of home design. Natural light is my favorite (hello, skylight!), but every space also needs a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting to fully come together. In fact, a single space can actually require anywhere from six to fifteen sources of light.

Here are five common mistakes of kitchen lighting and some inspiration to turn them around:

1. Insufficient above-sink lighting

Above sink lighting kitchen design with metallic backsplashDoing the dishes is dirty work; you need excellent lighting to catch all the grease stuck on pots, pans, and plates. Even if you’re lucky enough to have a big window by your sink, you’ll need plenty of task lighting for after-dinner cleanup when the sun goes down. We love how the industrial pendants above are all hung at slightly different heights for an imperfect yet stylish and practical lighting solution. And that gorgeous metallic tile backsplash, though. Swoon.

2. Above-island lighting hung too high/low

White kitchen and copper above island pendant lighting
Pendant lighting is a great way to accentuate your kitchen island as the centerpoint of the room. Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of hanging lighting at the wrong height. I like mine 33″-34″ inches above the countertop which is high enough not to bump your head but close enough that the light is still focused and not dispersed. Above, the surrounding monochromatic white cabinets and countertops provide a crisp backdrop to the stunning wood island and bright copper light fixtures.

3. Forgetting to light your dining table

Statement hanging globe dining table pendant in industrial kitchen with wood accents
Just because you have an eat-in kitchen doesn’t mean that the table doesn’t deserve dedicated lighting. Besides being functional, lighting fixtures serve to break up one large room into different purposes. Choosing a beautiful conversation piece such as the beautiful globe chandelier above provides soft ambient light while drawing the eye to the gathering place of the room.

4. The absence of accent lighting

Under cabinet display accent lighting with coffee bar kitchen
Imagine your kitchen as a museum. Your fruit bowl display is like a still life painting that needs a spotlight; your custom marble countertop deserves to shine. Warm, recessed under-cabinet lighting does the trick. If we had that super cute at-home coffee bar, we’d want to draw attention to it too.

5. Blue-ish, fluorescent lighting

Warm toned industrial over counter pendant lights in grey blue kitchen with brass fixtures and herringbone flooring
With all the stainless steel appliances in most kitchens, blue or fluorescent lighting can make the space look even colder and uninviting. In the photo above, the soft glow of these directional lamps offsets the cool blue tones of the cabinets and flooring. Choose a warm-hued bulb installed on a dimmer switch so you can always adjust the atmosphere of your space according to activity.

We’re curious to hear your thoughts…are you making the most of your kitchen with proper lighting?

How to Use Pantone’s 2016 Colors of the Year (Without Channeling a Nursery)

Serenty Blue & Rose Quartz Design Ideas
Though the 2016 Pantone Colors of the Year, Rose Quartz and Serenity, were announced last December, I’m just wrapping my head around this first-ever dual release. I find it hard to focus on home improvement when visions of eggnog and mistletoe swirl about during the holiday season. (Is this just me?)

Now that the first East Coast blizzard has fallen and produced cabin fever of extreme proportions, I’ve had sufficient time to think about this color combination. Here’s what Pantone officially has to say:

“Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.”

Wow. We’re all for this shift towards inner peace and balance. Bonus points that the colors are also a nod towards gender equality and fluidity as opposed to stereotypical ideas of the uses of the colors blue and pink. PSA: Hey kids: blue isn’t just for boys, and pink isn’t just for girls.
Nevertheless, incorporating these colors into your home can be tricky. Unless you’re actually designing a nursery, you’ll want to steer away from the sugary, saccharine interiors that pastels are normally associated with.

Below, we’ve rounded up a selection of Rose Quartz and Serenity accessories for your kitchen and bath that are très chic instead of baby chick.

1. Handblown Glass Vase

round-blue-glass-vase-pink-roses

This dainty vase is soft and curved, yet masculine at the same time. Fill it with peonies, which happen to be the perfect shade of Rose Quartz. Mother (Nature) really does know best.

2. Petal gauze towels

Soft pink gauze lightweight towels

It’s a misconception that fluffy towels are better towels. These thin, petal-colored gauze towels are lightweight, dry super quickly, and a breeze to pack. Mix and match them with patterned styles to avoid a too-perfect look.

3. Kartell Charles Ghost Stool

Clear Light Blue Kartell Ghost Indoor and Outdoor Stool

How fantastic would these look placed up against a white marble island? Since I don’t have a kitchen island and I’m on a budget, I’ll just be purchasing one as a decorative stand for my miniature bonsai tree. Zen, indeed.

4. e27 Halogen pendant

Modern light pink naked lightbulb pendant
The naked simplicity of this lightbulb design is striking, and the pale pink hue contrasts beautifully with the industrial feel of the piece. Whether hung alone or in a cluster,the e27 makes a great parlor room conversation piece.

5. Williams-Sonoma Blue-Gold Dinnerware Collection

Light blue and white china dinnerware set edged in gold

This Serenity-inspired Pickard China is simultaneously classic and on-trend. Plus, you can get everything monogrammed in 24-karat gold. Why wait for a special occasion? Treat. Yo. Self.

6. Silk overdyed rug

Handwoven light blue silk rug

Rugs can warm up a kitchen and shouldn’t be relegated just to the living room or bedroom. A silk option is pricey, but a worthy investment as this one is handwoven in India and will be a treasured family heirloom for generations to come.

7. Cabinet knob

Light pink rose quartz and silver cabinet knob

It’s well known that switching out the knobs on your cabinets are a quick, relatively inexpensive way to freshen your kitchen or bathroom. This rose quartz style is subtle and stylish for 2016.

8. Sip Cup

Small blue and pink ombré porcelain cup
Made of glazed porcelain, this mini cup reminds me of gorgeous West Coast sunsets. It’s perfect for a mid-afternoon espresso or your morning tea. Or, you can use it as a pot for tiny plants! Whatever the use, a collection of these would be lovely displayed prominently on all-white shelves.

How will you be incorporating Rose Quartz and/or Serenity into your home this year?

6 Hacks to Make 2016 Your Dream Year (at Least at Home)

Are you in a winter blues slump? After the holiday feasts are devoured, party invites dwindle, and the sparkly lights wane, we’re faced with the new year and all its possibilities ahead.

These can be daunting. It’s tempting to simply dive back into the chaos of work, complain about the cold, and daydream about that tropical vacation you’ll take for three days in May. Or, you might be still rolling around on 2015’s baggage conveyer belt like a beat up Samsonite, stuffed with self-pity, waiting for someone to pick you up.

It’s time to claim yourself, or rather to claim the present. Perhaps you don’t have a state of the art kitchen where you casually make homemade pasta every night, the fulfilling AND lucrative career, or that incredible significant other who gets you. So what? Work with what you have and get rid of the emotional and physical clutter. Since our minds and environments are inextricably intertwined, you can make concrete, conscious changes to your home to jumpstart the life of your dreams now.

1. Surprise yourself

DIY Gold Base Cabinet Toe Kick
Heard of a toe-kick before? It’s the bottom part of cabinets where your feet often touch. Usually, these are just the same color as your cabinets (yaaawn) but after some gold contact paper, gaffers tape and/or washi tape, you can’t help but feel brighter every time you walk into your kitchen.

2. Declutter your kitchen, declutter your mind

White Kitchen Cabinet with Cards Inside Doors
I love my baby cousins, but after each holiday season I’m faced with a dilemma of what to do with all the greeting cards from my huge extended family. Recycling seems so…harsh, but at the same time I miss seeing the smooth stainless steel face of my fridge Relocating these colorful cards to the inside of your cabinets removes a visual burden from the room, but also reminds me that I’m loved every time I reach for the pepper.

3. Bathroom Art is Underrated

Gorgeous Bathroom with Inspirational Art
You know how you judge a restaurant on its bathroom? Dude, your guests are doing the same to you when they visit your home. Beyond what others think, you deserve some beauty in all the spaces in your life. Find an image or text you love and get it printed as a large scale poster for ~$10 – $20 online at Target or Walmart. Fit it into an inexpensive frame from Michael’s (don’t forget their weekly 40% coupon) and you’re done! Whether you hang a thought-provoking print like the one above or a series of muted botanical sketches, make sure it uplifts you.

4. Clear out the dishes before bed

Clean Dishes in Stainless Steel Sink
Not doing the dishes becomes a sort of vicious cycle. Your pots are all dirty, you don’t feel like cooking because of said dirty pots, you turn to Seamless, and in the morning the dishes are still there and you end up skipping breakfast. Repeat. Just like you clear out your email inbox every morning, take a few minutes to “close” all the rooms in your home at night. Turn off lights, straighten up throw blankets, and do. those. dishes.

5. Kitchen looking bare? Throw a rug down

Vintage Turkish Kilim Rug in White Marble Kitchen
Take a good look at your kitchen. If it looks cold and uninviting, it could be because you need some warmth on the floor. People often buy rugs just for their living room and overlook the kitchen, but kilim styles (like above) are not only majorly trending right now, they can tie an entire room together. I visited Turkey this summer where vintage overdyed kilims were ubiquitous, but also spotted some fantastic look-alikes at Home Goods or Gilt Home too. Go for long, rectangular silhouettes, and yes, pink can look great. Extra points if you can incorporate Pantone’s Color(s) of the Year, Rose Quartz and Serenity.

6. Have a regular “family” dinner

People Eating Out

There’s a reason why people love Thanksgiving. Coming together to prepare and share a homemade meal feels almost primitive now in this age of instant gratification. Hack it by inviting friends who are like family if you don’t have family nearby and ask everyone to bring a dish or wine. Make it a monthly standing gathering with a set guest list of folks who enjoy and motivate one another and allow people to drop in whenever they have the time. If you want, guide the conversation. Have guests share a goal for 2016, a failure from 2015 and how they overcame it, or share what they are grateful for, today. Keep it low-key and I promise that it will keep you grounded.

Hopefully these hacks will enliven your daily surroundings, free up brain space that was occupied on negativity, and create time for strengthening bonds with family, friends, and most importantly, yourself. The good stuff will naturally come. What are you doing already to make 2016 your dream year?