Does Your Bathroom De-Stress You?

Bathroom with Sliding Barn Door
I’m usually quite partial to sleek lines, minimalist furniture, and futuristic kitchen appliances. In fact, I drool over the Ikea catalog each season. But, in New York City some spaces are too styled. Every high rise lobby is outfitted in mid-century modern seating, decorated with an abstract painting, or has chrome details…lots of them.

That’s why I can understand why this Brooklyn family renovated their home to give off a warm, cozy, farmhouse feel to contrast with their busy and chaotic lives in the city. While the entire home is beautiful, I was especially impressed with how they pulled off an inviting, hospitable, and serene bathroom without being sterile.

Beautiful All White Bathroom

1. Barn Door: Wow. This door, reappropriated from a sheep farm in New Hamsphire, is the focal point and pièce de résistance of not just the bathroom, but the room surrounding it. By carefully staining and constructing it to slide and fit in the space, the owners brought the area to life with love and care.

2. All White Details: When in doubt, clean white vanities, a fresh coat of white paint, and storage will make any bathroom look comfortable and soothing. Brushed nickel details such as the towel hooks, pull out magnifying mirrors, and faucets make you and your guests feel like it’s a hotel. The freshly laundered towels folded on a simple white wooden shelf contribute to this feel.

3. Lots of light: What if your bathroom doesn’t have any windows? Dark bathrooms are the worst, especially if you’re trying to shave or apply makeup in the morning. It’s a bit hard to see, but on the leftmost side of the second photo, you can glimpse the floor to ceiling panel of floorblasted glass. This frosted effect allows natural light from the living room to encompass the bathroom, without revealing anything too…private. That would be awkward.

4. Vase by the door: Okay, so technically this detail is outside the bathroom, but by placing a beautifully curated floor vase by the door, a quite welcoming effect ensues. This vase almost says, “Here you are about to enter into a beautiful, tranquil experience.” Talk about making the most of a situation! How it’s designed is quite clever and effortless – large white coffee table books (we spot one about Dali!) and organic decorative branches add texture and layers to the entrance piece.

5. Large floor tiles: The sand colored tiles are gorgeous in their own right, but the takeaway here is large, square floor tiles. No more of that 12″ x 12″ crap. Especially if you have a small bathroom, larger tiles will actually give it the visual effect of being more spacious. Here, no matter what texture or color you select, these jumbo tiles fit perfectly in line with the luxurious yet laid back style of this farmhouse oasis in Brooklyn.

Even looking at these photos had a calming effect on me. Does your own home feel like an oasis from the area where you live? What elements of your home automatically relax or de-stress you once you get home?

(Photos via Design Sponge)

This post entitled Does Your Bathroom De-Stress You? is a post from the Kitchen Cabinet Kings Blog. Kitchen Cabinet Kings is one of the largest distributors of kitchen and bathroom cabinets on the internet.

Five Reasons To Use Integrated Kitchen Appliances

Integrated Kitchen AppliancesI have a theory. You can tell who your best friends are not by how many secrets they’ve kept, how often they’ve come through for you in a pinch, not even by the number of gifts they’ve bought you. No, all these factors are inconsequential compared to the greatest indicator of all: how well you know your way around their kitchen.

How many times have you gone over to a new friend’s home and had to ask where the trash can was? Since trash cans are simultaneously aesthetically challenged and absolutely necessary, many have been relegated to clever pull-out drawers that blend in with the surrounding kitchen cabinetry.

The trend doesn’t end here. I’ve never been a fan of gleaming robotic appliances as a focal point of a kitchen. (They’re akin to someone with too many diamond rings.) Now, it’s possible to add cabinet panels to your Sub-zero refrigerator, or install your microwave somewhere more subtle with the vast array of integrated appliances on the market today.

After all, kitchens aren’t just for cooking and eating- they’re safe havens for doing homework, diving into arts and crafts projects, and sharing a glass of Malbec with a dear friend.

Turn your kitchen into a multitasking- no, multi-living space by choosing integrated appliances that seamlessly create a cohesive atmosphere. Here are five reasons to consider integrated appliances for your kitchen:

1. A tidy look: Hide knick knacks in cabinets to minimize appearance of clutter.
2. Easy to clean: Integrated appliances allow for no space between objects and cabinets, thus decreasing surface area for dust to settle. There are less tiny spaces that are difficult to clean.
3. Space-friendly: If you’re space-limited, even more reason to adopt fully integrated kitchen appliance solutions. Since everything is measured to fit your kitchen perfectly, no inch is wasted!
4. Personalize to your needs: If you need a refrigerated drawer under your counter to access produce easily, you can add a cabinet panel that matches the rest of your kitchen cabinetry.
5. Not just for minimalists: Traditional kitchens can have integrated kitchen appliances too. Many appliances can be refaced and it actually make the kitchen more decorative.

The main downside of integrated kitchen appliances is the cost. Cabinets panels must be custom measured and appliances precisely fitted. Trim pieces can be used to fill in empty areas, too. Will you consider fully integrated kitchen appliances for your kitchen?

This post entitled Five Reasons To Use Integrated Kitchen Appliances is a post from the Kitchen Cabinet Kings Blog. Kitchen Cabinet Kings is one of the largest distributors of kitchen cabinets and bathroom cabinets on the internet.

Go Green! Use Energy Efficient Kitchen Appliances

Energy-efficient appliances may cost more up front, but they pay for themselves over time through reduced utility bills. Unfortunately, not all energy-rated appliances are created equal. Use these tips to make smart choices when selecting new appliances for your kitchen.

Refrigerators

Running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, it’s no surprise that the refrigerator is usually the biggest drain on household electricity. Energy Star-rated appliances are a good place to start, but these labels can be deceiving. Actual energy consumption varies widely between models. Get the facts at www.energystar.gov.

When looking for a new refrigerator, consider the following:

  • Size – Small, overfilled refrigerators work harder to cool; big, underused ones waste energy chilling empty space. Don’t buy more refrigerator than you need.
  • Configuration – Get more bang for your buck by choosing a refrigerator with more storage in a smaller space. According to Consumer Reports, freezer-top models provide the most usable storage, with bottom freezer models coming in second and side-by-sides showing up third.
  • Special Features – Skip the in-door water and ice dispensers. These fancy extras burn more energy than they’re worth. Use a sink-mounted filter or a filtering pitcher instead.
  • Location – Position the refrigerator away from the oven, dishwasher and other heat sources.

Cooktops, Ranges and Ovens

Unlike most household appliances, different types of energy can power cooktops and ovens. Most stoves and ovens use either electricity or natural gas. Both have their pros and cons.

  • Electric Stoves- Electricity is an inefficient cooking medium; temperatures are difficult to regulate, and because burners are slow to cool, much of the available energy is dissipated unused. Although electric ranges and ovens can be converted to alternate green fuels such as solar, most of the electricity available in the United States is currently produced by burning coal, a major contributor to greenhouse gases.
  • Natural Gas Stoves – You’ll never see a chef at a five-star restaurant cooking on an electric range. Natural gas is easily regulated, and burners cool quickly when the source of heat is removed. However, burning natural gas results in the release of carbon monoxide and other harmful chemicals. Always use a quality, top-mounted vent hood when cooking with natural gas. Natural gas is plentiful and cheap, but most of it is obtained through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Environmentalists have expressed concern that this process is polluting nearby soil and groundwater.
  • Ovens – Ovens are inherently inefficient. Only six percent of the energy generated is used in cooking. As with refrigerators, choose the smallest size possible to suit your needs. Two smaller ovens will give you extra space for entertaining while reducing the energy load during daily use.

Dishwashers

Up to 90 percent of the energy consumed by your dishwasher is used to heat the water. An Energy Star-rated model can help. These dishwashers use about 10 percent less energy on average, and many contain a booster heater to heat the water to recommended temperatures without overtaxing the household water heater. Choose a dishwasher with a variety of wash cycles, including water miser, china light and no-heat dry. New steam dishwashers are quieter than traditional models and energy-efficient. On the downside, they take longer to complete a cycle.

Easy energy saving tips for your dishwashers:

  • Always run a full load.
  • Don’t wash your dishes twice. If pots and pans must be scrubbed to remove baked-on foods, you’re better off using elbow grease and washing them once, by hand. Scrape plates instead of rinsing them to conserve water.
  • Use light or energy-saving cycles whenever possible.
  • Choose the no-heat drying option to reduce energy use.

This post entitled Go Green! Use Energy Efficient Kitchen Appliances is a post from the Kitchen Cabinet Kings Blog. Kitchen Cabinet Kings is one of the largest distributors of kitchen cabinets and bathroom cabinets on the internet. Check out their large selection of KraftMaid Cabinets.