Monday, July 29, 2013

8 Ways to Make the Most of Your Laundry Room

by Shane Inman
These super-practical laundry room additions can help lighten your load
We spend countless hours in our laundry rooms, scrubbing out stains, pressing our best and even washing the dog. Shouldn't we make this space as functional and pleasant as possible?

Laundry rooms have come a long way from the barren basement rooms so many of us grew up with. Take a few tips from these uber-practical laundry-room additions to help you lighten your load.

Refrigerator. Many homes have a second refrigerator in the garage, but these homeowners put one in the laundry room. Building it into the wall helped save space.

Tip: If you're not ready to go that far, a mini fridge (no built-in necessary) could still help you store extra beverages.


Sewing station. Anyone who enjoys sewing knows what a pain it is to set up and take down your clunky machine every time you want to make a repair or tackle a project. A special sewing station in your laundry room can help you get your work done with an ironing board and other necessities nearby.

Tip: Lower the counter height to 30 inches and knock out a cabinet for some knee space. Make sure there's an electrical outlet nearby, and don't forget task lighting to help you thread your needle.


Dog washing tub. Every friend and neighbor with a pooch will be green with envy when you show them your personal dog washing station. This is a great addition for laundry rooms that have an entrance to the outdoors or a garage. Wash Fido's dirty paws and soiled fur before he comes into the house.

Tip: Tiling the washing station and your laundry-room floors will make cleanup a cinch.

 



Raised washer and dryer. Bending down to take heavy loads of clothes out of a washer and dryer isn't good for anyone's back. A platform like this takes the (literal) pain out of washing and drying and has a seamless look.

Tip: Aim to lift your washer and dryer at least 15 inches for the best fit.




Drip-drying location. A drip-dry station in this spacious laundry room allows wet garments to dry without making a mess. In lieu of more cabinetry, this cavity was tiled all over for ultimate water protection.

Tip: A bar from the top provides a spot to hang clothes, and the floor drain guarantees there is no standing water.




 
Floor drain. Even if you don't have a specialized drip-dry spot, a floor drain can be a great idea in your laundry room. Not only does it make everyday cleaning easy, it can also prevent serious damage if your washing machine ever leaks or overflows.

 


 

Ironing board. For those short on space, a drawer ironing board can give you the benefits of a built-in board without taking up wall or cabinet space. You'll never have to wrestle with a squeaky freestanding board again. These are easy to retrofit into budget remodels, too.




Hampers. Built-in laundry hampers like these can help you keep your laundry space extra tidy with minimal effort. When the clothes are piling up, just make sure the drawers are closed! This homeowner has a hamper for whites, colors and darks — all tucked away and out of sight.

These practical ideas are a great way to make your laundry room functional and pleasing to the eye.  Let Cabinet-S-Top assist you in designing your laundry room. Stop by our showroom at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256 ~ 330-239-3630 ~ www.cabinet-s-top.com
 


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Eight Secrets to a Happy Kitchen

by Steele Thomas Marcoux



Kitchens may be the most functional rooms in the house, but the long hours logged in these spaces doesn’t mean kitchens have to be all work and no play. In fact, their role as the hub of the house means they need to be just as inviting as they are hardworking. From layout considerations that will make cooking, cleaning, and food storage a little easier to decorative touches that will make the utilitarian space more personal, these eight design tips will add cheer to any kitchen.

#1. Soften Your Step

There’s no getting around spending a lot of time on your feet in the kitchen. One way to ease the burden is roll out runner in the space between the kitchen island and the opposing range or sink.  The softer surface will add warmth to typically less-than-barefoot-friendly kitchen floors made of tile or wood. Another option: install cork underfoot. The absorbent material is easy on joints.

 
#2: Shorten Your Commute
An efficient floor plan, like the kitchen shown here, clusters appliances together into one work zone that makes hands-on cooking time less cumbersome. The most important space to consider is the one between the sink and range: at least four feet but not much more will ensure that the area is not cramped and that nothing is out of reach. Furthermore, having the refrigerator close to the range makes it easier to add another pad of butter or splash of milk to whatever’s cooking.
  

#3. Cut Down On Clutter
Reducing clutter in the kitchen is the first step to creating a calm environment for cooking and cleaning. Keep key ingredients handy­—and off countertops—with smart storage solutions like these pullout cabinets. Bulky items like oils, vinegars, and spices are right next to the cook top but can be hidden out of sight when not needed.
 



#4. Turn Down The Volume
Eliminating as much annoying mechanical noise as possible with simple noise-lessening tricks is another great way to keep the kitchen—and surrounding areas—stress-free. These days, there are plenty of quiet (and effective!) appliances on the market, so choose carefully.  Sub-Zero and Wolf both offer refrigerators with little to no hum and Miele and Bosch both manufacture super quiet dishwashers.




 


#5. Brighten Things Up
Well-designed lighting can instill a sunny mood anywhere, especially in kitchens like this one. The key is to use multiple types of lighting and multiples sources of light. Kitchens typically need a combination of recessed cans for overhead light; pendants over sinks or islands for targeted task light; and under cabinet for countertop light. Another tip: mix incandescent and halogen bulbs, which give off warm light, with more efficient fluorescent and LED lights, which give off cooler light, for a balanced approach.

#6. Add A Conversation Starter

Even cooks love a little company. To encourage people to sit down and stay a while, furnish the space with super comfy barstools like the upholstered versions in this kitchen.  The cushy seat and tall back will help facilitate long talks during meal prep and cleanup.










#7. Liven Things Up With Color
Nothing adds energy to a room like a jolt of bright color.  In this kitchen, the blues and greens adds depth, creates a focal point, and draws more attention to the beautiful view outside. Painting cabinetry, choosing colored appliances, or laying down a patterned rug are other great ways to add color. If nothing makes you happier than a bright white kitchen, consider adding seasonal color with flowers. 
 

 
#8. Make It Personal
Just because the kitchen is primarily a workspace doesn’t mean it has to be void of any personal touches. Take the same approach as you might at your desk and cheer it up with personal elements, such as artwork, family photos, or a prized collection like cookbooks or antique serving pieces. It'll make your cook spot feel even more like home.


Let Cabinet-S-Top help you create a happy kitchen.  Stop by our showroom located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH 44256 ~ 330.239.3630    www.cabinet-s-top.com




Monday, July 8, 2013

8 Good Places for a Second Kitchen Sink


by Shane Inman
 
Divide and conquer cooking prep and cleanup
by installing a second sink in just the right kitchen spot

Don't underestimate the power of a second sink in your kitchen. When installed in just the right spot, a secondary sink can be just as useful as a primary sink. The perfect sink location allows two users to cook and clean simultaneously, making everyday meals and special occasions easier to prep for and clean up after. Whether your kitchen is large or on the smaller side, the right extra sink in the right spot might make your life better.



 


Island. Most designers put second sinks on kitchen islands, where they're easy to use and access but out of the way of main prep areas. This sink makes cooking easier with chef number two on Christmas and Thanksgiving.








Workstation. Create an out-of-the-way workstation in your kitchen by adding a niche for your second sink.

The layout of this kitchen allows for a second person in the kitchen to have water access while staying out of the chef's way. What a great idea!





Baking center. If you are an avid baker, having a baking center with its own sink can help you confine your mess. This tidy countertop area keeps the mess contained, and it's easy to wash the dishes and the countertop once everything's in the oven.




 


Butler's pantry. A sink immediately upgrades the functionality of a butler's pantry. Nothing's easier than blending, mixing and stirring right near where ingredients are stored; you can prep appetizers and drinks for guests without traveling back and forth into the kitchen.



 




Wet bar. For those who love to host, a wet bar can make entertaining easier. A small sink like the one here is great for adding water to cocktails and doing light cleanup.
 




 




Peninsula. If you have a peninsula instead of an island, adding a sink can be a great solution for guests and homeowners. This particular sink can be accessed from the front or back for easy use.


 




Coffee station. Is coffee a beverage staple in your house? Imagine never having to travel to the main sink to fill the coffeepot (hey, everything's difficult early in the morning). An additional sink by your coffee center would allow you to fill, pour and serve with ease.
 




 

Right next to the main sink. Your secondary sink doesn't have to be a smaller version of your primary sink — it can be the same size and even the exact same model. Just like double dishwashers, double sinks translate into a quicker cleanup.

 
Cabinet-S-Top, 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256, 330-239-3630 ~ www.cabinet-s-top.com