Five Inspiring Photos to Break You Out of Your Design Rut

So many of us get stuck in ruts. Life ruts, relationship ruts, career ruts, but most importantly (clearly), design ruts. You see the same interiors over and over, or get used to using a ladder for just one reason, or seeing a kitchen that is all too typical. Sometimes, all it takes is a visual “punch” to bring you back to life and get your creative juices flowing again. Even if these photos don’t represent ideas you’d incorporate into your own kitchen or bathroom, they’re bound to shake up your day a little, and spring you on your way towards a freer, less inhibited aesthetic.

Ladder with pots and pans hanging on it in the kitchen

Ladders are for climbing and reaching high places…right? This ultra simple metal ladder doubles as a pan holder. Simply buy some S-shaped hooks and you’ll have an instant storage unit. What a beautiful, rustic way to display your cast iron pots and pans.

Ladder in a bathroom using closet for storage

All too often we see shoes and accessories stored together with clothing. In this bathroom, storage space that would normally be reserved for toiletries, extra linens, and cleaning products make way for accessories. Simply unhinge cabinet doors and cover with a coat of glossy white paint for a clean, boutique feel.

Nautical themed kitchen inside of an Airstream trailer

This is an Airstream trailer. How freaking awesome, right? The “kitchen” is tiny – it actually consists of one burner, a convection microwave, and a teeny-tiny sink. But, it’s brought to life with it’s all white look, and pop of contrast in the graphic wallpaper. Also, if you’ve got a tiny space, a theme might be handy. This Airstream is nautical themed, so furnishing it in accordance, down to the porthole window, makes a small space light, airy, and fun.

Bathroom with multiple round mirrors hanging

Can’t find the perfect mirror for your vanity? We love that this modern, minimalist vanity was paired with simple mirrors of various sizes, arranged haphazardly but still stylishly on the wall. You can also achieve a similar look by pairing mirrors with different frames, some modern, some more ornate. Think a gallery photo wall, but with mirrors instead. The key is to not look too done!

Bathroom with chalkboard paint, pastel rug, and paintings hanging

Lastly, there are so many elements in this bathroom that I wouldn’t normally think of putting in a bathroom, but somehow it works. First, the rug. A little random, but you have to admit that it’s so much chicer than those terry bath mats that come in pastel colors. Also, the black chalkboard paint. It’s sometimes too much to paint an entire bathroom black, so you’ll notice 90% of the walls are covered with hanging photos, prints, and paintings. They predominantly have white backgrounds, which makes for a lovely contrast, and echoes the white toilet and sink.

Did these photos “disrupt” your design aesthetic and get you out of that rut? Share your most inspirational ideas below.

(Photos via Design Sponge, Design Sponge, Apartment Therapy)

This post entitled Five Inspiring Photos to Break You Out of Your Design Rut 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.

Kitchen Design Idea: The Corner Kitchen Sink

The Corner Kitchen SinkWhether it holds a teetering stack of used cereal bowls or rinses a tie dyed t-shirt, the kitchen sink is a well-used kitchen work space. As one of the points of the kitchen work triangle the sink needs to function smoothly as part of the kitchen traffic and work flow. So if you consider installing a corner sink, make sure the location and design will work for you and your family, or your new kitchen is going to be a source of frustration rather than joy. Here’s what you’ll expect after installing a corner kitchen sink:

Clear the Counters

A corner sink opens the possibility of long stretches of counter top unbroken by dish drainers, faucets and dirty dishes. This can make for a great kitchen workspace. It’s also perfect for a small kitchen that would have only tiny pieces of counter top if the sink were along a wall. The corner sink takes advantage of little-used space that may be wasted, since it is difficult to complete many kitchen tasks in a corner space.

A Chore With a View

Another feature many owners of corner sinks like is that they are often built with corner windows behind them for a great view. While many like this feature, others complain that it is difficult to reach over the sink to those windows in order to wash them.

Extend Your Reach

In fact, a disadvantage to the corner sink in general is the difficulty in reaching behind it for any reason. Some homeowners bemoan the wasted space, while others note that anything stored behind the corner sink is likely to get soaked. What’s more, those who are not as tall have difficulty even reaching behind the sink without a stool. If you put cupboards above the sink, they will be difficult for shorter people to reach as well.

Storage

On the other hand, the corner cabinet that holds a corner sink often has great storage space. You’ll need a corner cabinet that is lower than a traditional cabinet to hold a corner sink. Traditional corner cabinets have very little support, so be sure to ask for or build reinforcements. Once that’s done, your corner cabinet will have lots of room underneath the sink for plumbing pipes, cleaning equipment and oversize serving bowls.

Alone Again

When it comes to cleanup, a corner sink can be cramped quarters. It’s much more difficult to involve two or more people in dish washing chores at a corner sink. Also, unless you plan ahead during the design stage of building kitchen, it can be hard to squeeze the dishwasher in a a comfortable angle to a corner sink. For best results, try out the designs before installing your sink.

This post entitled Kitchen Design Idea: The Corner Kitchen Sink 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.

How to Design a Kitchen Island

Designing a kitchen island may seem like an easy task, but there are plenty of things that can go badly wrong with an island. To be sure your island is as functional as you hope it will be, ask yourself a few questions to help plan the perfect kitchen island.

How Will I Use the Island?

Before designing an island, determine how it will be used in your daily flow of life. Many islands have a “work” side and an “eating” side. Is that how you want to use your island? Will you do prep work, cooking, baking or dishwashing on your island? Or will it be mainly for casual meals or doing homework? Defining the purpose of the island is the first task in design.

Do I Need Appliances in My Island?

If the island is an important part of the work triangle in the kitchen, you’ll need to plan for function and form as you decide where each appliance will be placed and how it will affect the use of the island. If you intend to use the island as a buffet when entertaining, it must be wide enough that the sink or cooktop doesn’t take up too much space. If the primary sink is in the island, then the dishwasher must be in the island as well. Remember that the sink is used early in meal prep and after the meal is completed. If you envision family gathering time around the island as you prepare meals, then a cooktop rather than a sink may be a better choice for island appliances. Remember to plan for a hood or vent if you do have a island cooktop.

Do I Need Storage?

For some people, storage is a primary purpose for an island. If you have lots of other cabinets, however, storage space becomes secondary. If you plan for lots of storage, be careful not to make the island so deep and wide that you are unable to reach the center to clean.

How High Should my Counter Be?

For seating, 42 inches is a comfortable height for bar stools, and provides lots of flexibility but requires a multi-level island. A 36 inch height can work for bar stools, but allows less flexibility in the seating options. Be sure to allow adequate overhangs as well.

Will It Fit in My Space?

Remember that an island that crowds your oven, refrigerator or cupboards will be a bane, not a blessing. Leave adequate space between cabinet and refrigerator doors, and leave enough room around the island that several people can move easily through the kitchen.

A well-designed island can be a great asset to a kitchen. Be sure to take the time to design it well, and you’ll enjoy your island for years to come.

This post entitled How to Design a Kitchen Island 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.

Four Small Kitchen Design Ideas You Shouldn’t Miss

Although 2012 trends are to larger kitchens, some homes simply don’t have the space for a large gathering space in the kitchen area. City apartments can have a space as small as 7 feet by 10 feet, condos often have a galley kitchen or a wall with kitchen cabinets, while in some suburbs, a 10 by 13 foot space is small for a kitchen. Whatever your space limitations, make the most of the kitchen you do have with these ideas for utilizing every corner of a tiny kitchen.

Make it Tall

Look using all of the space in your small kitchen, floor to ceiling. Order extra-tall cabinets that reach all the way to the ceiling. Remove any drop or faux ceilings in a small kitchen. Not only will it give you extra storage space, but it will also open up the room for an airy feel. Think tall and skinny when it comes to appliances as well. In a truly tiny apartment-style kitchen, use a tall and narrow refrigerator, a narrow stove stovetop with only two burners, and a narrow dishwasher, if you have the space. Think small for the sink as well. A single bowl, deep sink can hold a large pot to fill or many dirty dishes. Paired with a gooseneck, pull-out faucet, the sink can be versatile with a small footprint.

Add an Island

If you have a small kitchen with a little more space, consider an island. Even a small island can make a kitchen more workable by providing an eating area and more storage. Islands don’t need to take up lots of room; consider a triangular or round island with a small footprint.

Organize

Make use of every bit of space in your small kitchen. For example, look at hanging pots and pans for an attractive display that saves space. Also consider pullout shelves and organizers in cabinets and drawers. Utilizing every bit of space in a cabinet makes a small kitchen more functional. Consider extra-deep countertops to give you more workspace without significantly affecting traffic flow. Consider a table that can fold down out of the way when it is not being used.

Lighten it Up

Use light wisely in a small kitchen to make the space brighter and to give the illusion of size. Consider under-cabinet halogen or LED lights to add space-creating light to countertops. If there is any way to add an exterior window to the room, do so. If not, consider a solar tube to bring natural light into the room.

This post entitled Four Small Kitchen Design Ideas You Shouldn’t Miss 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.

4 Ideas to Get the Most Out Of Your Small Kitchen

Although 2012 trends are to larger kitchens, some homes simply don’t have the space for a large gathering space in the kitchen area. City apartments can have a space as small as 7 feet by 10 feet, condos often have a galley kitchen or a wall with kitchen cabinets, while in some suburbs, a 10 by 13 foot space is small for a kitchen. Whatever your space limitations, make the most of the kitchen you do have with these ideas for utilizing every corner of a tiny kitchen.

Make it Tall

Look using all of the space in your small kitchen, floor to ceiling. Order extra-tall cabinets that reach all the way to the ceiling. Remove any drop or faux ceilings in a small kitchen. Not only will it give you extra storage space, but it will also open up the room for an airy feel. Think tall and skinny when it comes to appliances as well. In a truly tiny apartment-style kitchen, use a tall and narrow refrigerator, a narrow stove stovetop with only two burners, and a narrow dishwasher, if you have the space. Think small for the sink as well. A single bowl, deep sink can hold a large pot to fill or many dirty dishes. Paired with a gooseneck, pull-out faucet, the sink can be versatile with a small footprint.

Add an Island

If you have a small kitchen with a little more space, consider an island. Even a small island can make a kitchen more workable by providing an eating area and more storage. Islands don’t need to take up lots of room; consider a triangular or round island with a small footprint.

Organize

Make use of every bit of space in your small kitchen. For example, look at hanging pots and pans for an attractive display that saves space. Also consider pullout shelves and organizers in cabinets and drawers. Utilizing every bit of space in a cabinet makes a small kitchen more functional. Consider extra-deep countertops to give you more workspace without significantly affecting traffic flow. Using a table that folds down is a great idea for your small kitchen to create a space for you to eat on and it folds down out of the way when not being used.

Lighten it Up

Use light wisely in a small kitchen to make the space brighter and to give the illusion of size. Consider under-cabinet halogen or LED lights to add space-creating light to countertops. If there is any way to add an exterior window to the room, do so. If not, consider a solar tube to bring natural light into the room.

This post entitled 4 Ideas to Get the Most Out Of Your Small Kitchen 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.

Everything and the Kitchen Sink

One of the many decisions facing the homeowner undertaking a kitchen remodeling project is what kind of kitchen sink to purchase. While it may seem like a less important decision than finding quality discount kitchen cabinets or designing the work-flow, kitchen sinks are used many times each day, and choosing the right one will make a kitchen more functional and enjoyable.

Style
Sinks come in one bowl, two bowl and three bowl styles. One bowl sinks can be adequate for people who rarely use the sink to wash dishes, but instead use it largely to rinse dishes for the dishwasher or rinse vegetables. A single bowl sink has a garbage disposal in the drain, and uses a center drain. A double bowl sink may have one small, shallow bowl for rinsing and the garbage disposal and one larger bowl for dish-washing and soaking. Other double bowl sinks have two bowls of about the same size for use in washing dishes or completing multiple tasks at once. A three-bowl sink often has two large bowls with a third, smaller bowl in the center, where the garbage disposal is mounted. Double and triple sinks may have rear-positioned drains on one or more of the bowls, creating more usable bowl space and more under-sink storage space. Sink bowls range in depth from 5” to 12” with shallow bowls being best suited for rinsing and food preparation and deeper bowls being best for dish-washing and soaking.

Faucet and Accessories
Each sink needs a faucet, and homeowners may choose to add accessories to the sink faucet area. Some possible accessories are a side spray, a soap dispenser, a hot water dispenser or a chilled water dispenser. Kitchen sink faucets often have a single lever so that hot and cold water is mixed together easily. For those who want only a single faucet with a lever handle and no accessories, a single hole sink is the answer. Two-hole sinks allow for a single-lever faucet plus one accessory. Some people do want separate hot and cold handles, so they need a three-hole sink. Of course, three-hole sinks also accommodate a single lever faucet and two accessories. There are four and five-hole sink options that allow more accessories.

Mounting
The two most common mounting styles for kitchen sinks are self-rimming, drop-in sinks and undermount, recessed sinks. Drop-in sinks have a visible rim that sits on the countertop material where the faucet is attached. They are the most common type of mounting for sinks, but may collect grime around the edge of the rim. Undermount sinks are installed under the counter. They look elegant, and allow for easy cleanup, since they don’t have a rim and food can be wiped directly from the counter into the sink.

There are two other, less-common styles of sink mounting, which are tile-in or tile-edge and Apron or farmhouse sinks. With a tile-in mounting, a sink mounts flush with a tiled countertop and feature a built-in, grouted sink edge. Apron sinks have an exposed front panel for a traditional, farmhouse look. Homeowners must plan ahead for this type of sink, because whatever style of custom or discount kitchen cabinet they choose will have to be designed to accommodate the apron front.

Material
Selecting the right material is essential to tie for your sink to tie your entire kitchen remodeling project together.  For those who haven’t considered a material aside from stainless steel for a kitchen sink, the choices can be baffling. Of course, stainless is still the most popular option. The sinks are easy to clean, lightweight, and nearly unbreakable. Remember that light-gauge stainless (the higher the number, the lighter the gauge) will dent and scratch easily, so go for the heavier gauge steel. Also considered a brushed satin bowl to hide scratches and save the mirrored finish for the rim.

Solid surface sinks often match the countertops in a kitchen. They may be made of granite, quartz or composite materials. They are often created in undermount styles, and have a classic look. The man-made quartz and composite sinks are easy to repair, and have coloring that goes all the way through. These sinks can scratch easily, and are damaged by corrosive cleaners.

Enameled cast iron and porcelain on steel sinks are other options for kitchen remodeling.

This post entitled Everything and the Kitchen Sink 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.

Select the Right Height for Your Wall Cabinets

wall cabinet height Select the Right Height for Your Wall CabinetsThere is plenty of variation in the height of wall cabinets available; however, it all comes down to preference. You can go for a grand look and build your cabinets to your ceiling by pairing 42″ high cabinets with crown molding, or you can opt for a more modest feel with 30″ high cabinets and no top molding. It is something you would have to play with, and it is probably easiest to decide after seeing your design done utilizing a few options. Here are a few positives for each option.

The shortest wall cabinet height is 30″. This option is the least expensive, and it is available through most manufacturers, whether they are stock, semi custom, or custom made. These cabinets can be used without top molding to keep the costs down, and home owners can place tiny belongings, such as teapots, on display, above the cabinets. Since you will be saving money on the cost of the cabinet, you can also decide to use crown molding to add some extra height and style.

If you cannot decide you can always go with 36″ high wall cabinets; these cabinets are in the middle in regards to cost and storage space. This is perfect for homeowners that do not want to spend a fortune but that are also looking to be able to store all of their dinnerware.

To achieve that floor to ceiling cabinet look, most designers will suggest utilizing 42″ wall cabinets with crown molding. These cabinets offer the most storage space, typically coming with at least three shelves per cabinet. Being as they are of substantial stature, these cabinets can be used without crown molding as well, and the room will still have the same look. However, the taller the wall cabinet, the more expensive they become.

When you are working with your kitchen designer be sure to have him/her show you a few options both in renderings and price breakdowns. You will need to weigh out the options based on these two factors.

This post entitled Select the Right Height for Your Wall Cabinets 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.

When To Use Roll Out Trays Or Drawer Base Cabinets

roll out trays 276x300 When To Use Roll Out Trays Or Drawer Base CabinetsRoll out trays and drawer base cabinets serve the same function, or do they?  They both extend out of the cabinet making it easier for us homeowners to find exactly what we are looking for without having to rummage through endless groceries or dinnerware.  They both come in a variety of sizes, enabling kitchen designers to incorporate them into virtually any floor space.  However, it is a common misconception that drawer base cabinets and roll out trays are interchangeable.

A roll out tray is simply an accessory that can be added into a standard cabinet; this accessory can be utilized in both base and wall cabinets.  It is simply a shelf that can be pulled out, making the entire tray accessible.  Many individuals place one or two roll out trays in particular cabinets that they know they are going to store nonperishable food in; this accessory helps keep the cabinet organized.

Drawer base cabinets are self explanatory; they are a base cabinet with no doors, just drawers.  These are most commonly used for pots and pans.  The deep drawers are the perfect size to store all of your favorite cookware.

Customers looking to save money and stay within budget may think that they can swap a drawer base cabinet for the less expensive roll out tray accessory.  This may work if you are looking to hold glasses, cereal, or canned goods, but it is not going to be ideal for storing your crocpot.

Being as roll out trays are an accessory that need to be installed into an existing base cabinet, you are going to loose anywhere from 1-3″ of storage space per shelf.  This may cause a problem when you are looking to put your pots and pans away.

While it is understandable how the similarities between the two can seem much more prevalent than they are; it is imperative that consumers are educated about the difference.  Dollar signs can not be the deciding factor because you may wind up compromising functionality in the process.

This post entitled When To Use Roll Out Trays Or Drawer Base Cabinets 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.