Here are some of the pros and cons of these popular kitchen countertop materials from Houzz. I still love granite, unless you want a perfectly white countertop. I did use it in my bathrooms when I recently remodeled and it looks great, but it shows every little spot. My gorgeous granite on the other hand in my kitchen adds life and warmth and hides things so well, I have to have sunlight to catch every spot. Here is what the experts say:
If you’ve recently shopped for new kitchen countertops, you know firsthand how many options there are today. Houzz research says that for most people, the choices often boil down to granite or quartz. Two out of five homeowners choose one of these two surfaces, often for durability and easy cleaning, according to a 2017 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study. If you have whittled it down to granite or quartz, here’s a quick way to learn all about their pros and cons.
Pro: It has longevity. Quartz may be the relatively new kid on the block, but granite has had staying power. It is time-tested and has universal appeal. Sure, certain colors may look dated in a decade, but you generally can’t go wrong with granite as a long-term investment. It almost always helps sell homes.
Pro: It’s available in wide slabs. Though granite comes in all shapes and sizes, it’s common to find slabs more than 70 inches wide.For comparison, quartz slabs are seldom larger than 65 inches wide and are most often about 56. Wide slabs are a huge benefit for kitchens with sprawling angles since they usually mean fewer seams. Some kitchens may need only one slab, which can cut costs.
Pro: It costs less. If you’ve ever purchased an exotic granite, you’re probably chuckling at this one. But it’s true that granite has more bank account-friendly options than quartz does. Entry-level granite can run from $35 to $55 per square foot installed, which is significantly less than most quartz options. This price difference really adds up with larger kitchen spaces.
Pro: It’s a natural beauty. Jaw-dropping granite countertops don’t come from a factory. Granite is natural, and with that comes all sorts of intangibles a man-made product like quartz can never have, namely one-of-a-kind patterns and textures that you won’t see anywhere else. Every slab is unique, which really lets you personalize your kitchen.
Con: It’s porous. Like other stones, granite isn’t naturally resistant to moisture. It’s best not to let spills and water rings sit too long since they can stain your granite. An engineered product like quartz can better handle long-term exposure to moisture, and most spills won’t require immediate attention.
Con: It requires more maintenance. Granite isn’t necessarily a high-maintenance material, it just requires more care than quartz does. It’s important to be mindful of the detergents you use to clean it, as certain soaps can stain the stone. Because it’s porous, you need to seal it regularly, a task that can become a nuisance for some homeowners. Depending on the product you use, it’s best to reseal your granite countertops every two to five years.
Con: There aren’t many “clean” styles. Granite has a lot of movement in it, from veins and swirls to spots and speckles. While this is definitely one of granite’s stronger assets, it’s also a drawback for homeowners who don’t want busy countertops. It’s almost impossible to find a clean, simple style without much patterning. If you’re looking for counters without much hoopla, quartz is likely the better option for you.
Con: It’s brittle. Granite is strong, no doubt. However, it breaks far more easily than quartz does. Breaks can occur in larger pieces with angles and turns during installation. Though most professionals offer to patch up the cracks or cover the costs of a new slab, it’s an extra headache that can set your remodeling project back several days to several weeks. Plus, no one wants to see an investment of several thousand dollars get split in half.
Pro: It’s low-maintenance. Quartz is well-equipped to handle most kinds of detergents, and all it takes is soap and water to remove most spills and stains. It doesn’t require sealing.
Quartz does react poorly with certain chemicals, so always make sure to check your countertop manufacturer’s cleaning and maintenance guide before you use a particular product.
Pro: It’s stronger than natural stone. Quartz isn’t totally immune to scuffs and stains, but it’s about as scratch- and stain-resistant as countertops get. As an engineered product, it’s nonporous so coffee, citrus juice, cooking oil and other common kitchen ingredients won’t stain it. The resins and polymers used during the manufacturing process form strong bonds that aren’t easy to break. You won’t have to worry as much about it cracking during installation.
Pro: It’s in high demand. Whether it’s interior design’s shift toward clean lines or a desire for less daily upkeep, quartz is hot right now. It’s a huge selling point for home buyers, so it’s worth taking a look at for house flippers and soon-to-be sellers. If the quartz’s price is right, you could get a larger return on investment in the near future.
Pro: It offers consistent, clean styles. Solid, consistent coloring is quartz’s claim to fame. This makes it a natural fit in modern and contemporary spaces that emphasize form and function instead of details. It works well in traditional spaces that need a clean countertop style to mesh well with other detailed features, such as backsplashes, cabinetry, decor and light fixtures.
Con: It’s more expensive. If you’ve already figured out that less maintenance plus greater strength equals a higher price tag, kudos. An entry-level quartz usually costs as much as a level two granite (depending on where you’re located and where you’re buying the material from). While granite styles under $45 per square foot installed are plentiful, it’s difficult to find a quartz under $50 per square foot installed.
Con: It isn’t suitable for outdoor installations. This is one area where granite has the upper hand. While quartz is generally heat-resistant, it won’t perform well outdoors, whether it’s on an accent wall or in an uncovered outdoor kitchen. Its surface can fade and discolor after long-term exposure to sunlight. On the flip side, a natural stone like granite was born to survive sunlight and other weather elements with ease.
Con: Slabs of the same color always look the same. I’ll say it: Quartz is a tad cookie-cutter. Slab designs are predictable (which some homeowners like) and always look the same from slab to slab. In other words, you won’t ever have a truly unique countertop when it comes to quartz. If you’re wanting a one-of-a-kind work surface, it’s best to stick with granite and other types of natural stone surfaces.
Con: It isn’t the real deal. As durable as quartz is and as innovative as manufacturing processes are becoming, it won’t ever be 100 percent natural, and that’s a deal breaker for a lot of homeowners. Granite’s natural beauty, sweeping swirls, and gorgeous veining aren’t easy to replicate, even with today’s advanced machinery.
This is an article I found that is a little “out of the blue”, but interesting. I remember growing up we had to change our sheets every Saturday, but I don’t think most people change them that often. I would love to know the average.
Warm weather may mean more rooftop cocktails and outdoor workouts, but it also means there’s a whole lot more sweat on your body by the time sunset rolls around. So when you get into bed at night in the months from May to October, chances are you’re bringing more dirt and grime than in the cooler months.
We spend 56 hours per week in our sheets that’s a lot of time. There is a natural accumulation of microorganisms in bedding as people constantly shed skin, saliva, and hair. In the spring and summer, heat and humidity provide the perfect environment for dust mites to thrive, which means they’re likely joining you while you sleep. Oh, and since it’s allergy season, pollen from the air can get in there with you, too, which means it’s basically a full-on microscopic mixer every night. So how often should you be washing your sheets in the heat?
Keep scrolling to find out how often you should clean your bedding in the spring and summer.
Pillowcases should be swapped every week, regardless of the season (your face has bacteria that transfer directly to it), and duvet covers should always be washed every other week. As for the oft-overlooked items, which can also be loaded with some of the creepy crawlies, Calleja suggests washing pillows every six weeks and comforter inserts every month.
There are all sorts of things lurking in your sheets, pillows, and comforters that you may not be aware of, and they could pose a threat to your health if cleanliness isn’t maintained, and your bedding properly laundered. All those dust mites, bacteria, fungi, and pollen on dirty sheets can cause nasal congestion, stuffiness, runny nose, scratchy throat, allergies, provoke asthma, and worsen eczema and acne. Yikes.
To wash properly, research shows that hot water is an effective way to kill dust mites and other allergens. Calleja also suggests using gentle hypoallergenic, phosphate-free soaps and chlorine-free whitening powder when necessary. Because TBH, if you’re going to spend 56 hours a week in your sheets which is basically all of your free time, not counting the hours you’ll spend at the beach or sipping rosé on rooftops you may as well keep them as fresh and clean as possible.
If Fido sleeps in your bed with you, there are a few more things you should know about washing your sheets.
If you’re a hooman (as they say on the Internet) to a Fido or Fluffy or if you live with someone who is you’re likely aware of the overwhelming number of health benefits associated with dog ownership. From potentially lowering blood pressure to maybe even increasing your lifespan, pups are basically an immunity booster in a cute furry package.
And so it only makes sense that dog people would want to spend as much QT as possible with their pups, including at bedtime. Studies show that about 40 percent of dog owners sleep with their pets, but is it really safe to co-sleep?
While dogs can actually transmit some 70 diseases to humans, you don’t need to kick your little buddy out of bed in a hurry. The risks for the average population are probably overall low, especially if you do some simple basic things.
How to safely co-sleep with your furry friend
It may sound obvious, but washing your hands often is a top priority,especially if you’ve just touched your dog and are planning to eat a pre-bed snack (but it’s good advice to follow all the time). This is really really important, pointing to a recent outbreak of multi-drug resistant Campylobactertransmitted from puppies to people, which could have been avoided with proper handwashing. And don’t forget to wash your sheets, comforter, and any other dog bedding on the reg. Probably more often than you think you should.
Secondly, and this is likely another obvious one, keep your dog healthy and clean. One of the biggest concerns for people who sleep with their pet is getting fleas or ticks, which is a valid concern because pet owners are more likely to encounter ticks on themselves than non-pet-owners. (Although, to be fair, this could just be because dog owners tend to spend more time outside.) But you can help keep your bed bug-free by speaking to your vet about the appropriate flea and tick control products, which are now very safe for pets.
One of the biggest concerns for people who sleep with their pet is getting fleas or ticks, which is a valid concern because pet owners are more likely to encounter ticks on themselves than non-pet-owners.
Keeping a close eye on your dog when it’s on a walk or playing in a park is also important for co-sleepers. Eating rotten garbage or dead animals can cause your pet to become ill, and they may spread their sickness to you. There have even by documented cases of the plague and other serious diseases being transmitted from pet to owner.
Everyday grime and dirt that undoubtedly sticks to your dog’s paws could carry some risks, but they “haven’t necessarily been well-quantified. As long as their paws aren’t overly full of muck and all kinds of other things, then probably especially for the average person, the risk is pretty low. And here’s a tip: Clean your pooch’s paws before bedtime!
Of course, there are certain populations of people who should think twice before cuddling up, including young children under five, elderly people over 65, pregnant women, and the immunocompromised generally those with HIV/AIDS or people with cancer and receiving chemotherapy. These groups are not only more susceptible to the types of diseases dogs can spread, they’re also likely to get more severe cases.
What it really comes down to is: Before you let your dog in your bed, invite him to be part of your nightly self-care hygiene routine. You’ll both be better for it.
Here is a wonderfully interesting article from Wine & Food Magazine on keeping your knives sharp. I sharpen mine a little everytime I use them.
Having a great knife makes cooking so much more enjoyable when you have this joy of cutting through something that’s so easy and effortless, plus it’s going to last you a lifetime and can even be an heirloom for your kids.
If you want to get the most out of that fancy new knife you bought—and have it last long enough to actually be an heirloom follow these tips from the experts.
Whatever you do: Don’t put them in the dishwasher.
The biggest mistake people make at home, according to Blanchard and Cox, is putting their knives in the dishwasher. Newer high-powered dishwashers can even warp the steel. You always want to hand wash and hand dry your knives.
“Use a kitchen rag or soft sponge be gentle.”
Remember that boning knives aren’t for … bones.
When it comes to knife work, bones are off-limits. Period. (And boning knives are designed for working around the bones and through the joints.)
People assume that Japanese knives can go through anything, that they’re like samurai swords. They cannot go through bone. They are finely made, like jewelry.
And please don’t try to cut through frozen food, either. That can damage the knife.
Ditch the bamboo cutting board.
What you’re cutting on is almost just as important as the technique you’re using. Hardwood is preferable. You can use plastic or composite rubber, especially when you’re cutting raw proteins, so you can just put it in the dishwasher. Bamboo is a little too rough.
Learn the difference between honing and sharpening.
Both are important. Honing, which you should do more frequently, involves grinding the edge of the knife on a stone to even it out. The process doesn’t sharpen the knife, but it fixes the blade’s alignment, which makes it feel sharper and cut better. Sharpening, on the other hand, involves actually shaving off some of the blade, and should be done a few times a year at home, or at a shop that professionally sharpens knives.
“”you don’t want to sharpen or hone your knifeon anything harder than the steel of the knife itself,” says Cox, suggesting ceramic honing rods. “Hone your knife a couple times on each side – always use the same amount of passes on each side. Go ten or twelve. But if you’re going more than ten or twelve on each side, and it doesn’t go right back, then its time to sharpen.”
Applying oil to a carbon steel knife will help prevent any oxidation or rusting, though don’t use any vegetable oils like canola or olive.
What happens with vegetable-based oils is they get rancid, so use Tsubaki oil, Camellia seed oil, very thin and neutral and you don’t need a lot of it. You can get mineral oil at the grocery store.
In many respects, you want to treat your knives like they are cast-iron pans.
For a stainless steel knife and carbon steel knife, you want to treat it like a cast-iron pan. Even for a stainless steel knife, some knives are high polished and contain nickel and silver. Humidity speeds up the oxidation process, causing the knives to rust, so you want to store them in as dry a place as possible.
I personally love the Wolf combination I chose for my kitchen remodel as it gives me more options. There is one large gas burner for using large pans or stock pots, that can exchange for a wok grill on the left. There are two inductions burners in the middle with two different sizes (water to boiling in under a minute), and two more gas burners on the right (one smaller & one larger). I wish I had a griddle, but did ever use one enough to make it worth adding. I love this stove and the downdraft works wonderfully.
Choosing to install a cooktop instead of a traditional range can open up sought-after space on your kitchen surface. Whether you opt for electric, gas, or induction technology, our picks for well-designed cooktops are efficient, easy to clean, and versatile.
This article from Cooking Light may save you lots of discomfort.
There’s a hot-list of foods that spread food-borne illnesses more than others, but there are a few steps you can take to best protect yourself from any sickness.
Home cooks are increasingly seeing alarming headlines about national outbreaks of serious food-borne illnesses and with the recent fervor over one of the worst E. coli outbreaks in the last decade, the topic of food safety has never been so relevant.
The list is based on information that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention keeps for cooks looking to keep their kitchens as safe as possible. The shortlist of foods below are linked to food-borne illnesses more frequently than any other on the market. Luckily, there are steps you can take to reduce your chance of illness when eating them.
Which foods are the most likely to get you sick?
They’re as follows:
Did You Eat Romaine Lettuce? These Are the E. coli Warning Signs to Look For
A massive E. coli outbreak caused agencies to ask the entire nation to toss their romaine lettuce.
Chicken, beef, turkey, and pork
Raw and undercooked meat and poultry are surefire ways to get you sick. Nearly all raw poultry contains a bacteria called campylobacter, which the CDC says is the leading cause of “diarrheal sickness” in the United States. Other illness-causing bacteria linked to questionable meat include salmonella, E. coli, Yersinia (commonly found on raw pork), and C. perfringens (one of the most common bacteria leading to short-term food poisoning.)
Vegetables and fruits
It’s crucial to front-load your daily diet with tons of fresh vegetables and fruits, but raw variations can often cause food poisoning from contamination with salmonella, E. coli, and listeria bacteria. The exterior of uncooked fruits and vegetables are especially tricky as they’re a breeding ground for bacteria during transportation from farm to table, and especially at risk for cross-contamination in the kitchen. There are more than a few ways to clean them, however, and cooking your veggies is a sure way to eliminate most risk.
Raw milk and cheese
Some might think it’s very tasty, but health officials say that raw milk and the products made with unpasteurized milk can carry ample bacteria including E. coli, listeria, and salmonella, among others. Other dairy items that are more likely to hide harmful bacteria is feta cheese, brie and camembert, queso fresco, ice cream, and yogurt.
We watched as more than 200 million eggs were recalled due to a widespread salmonella contamination—the CDC says salmonella is often undetected, even for eggs that look clean and un-cracked. Choosing pasteurized eggs could help reduce that risk.
Raw shellfish and seafood
There is a greater chance to get sick with food poisoning from raw fish, yes. But raw shellfish is often more problematic than anything, with staples like oysters containing viruses and bacteria that could cause serious sickness—more than 100 people recently fell ill in California after eating raw oysters contaminated with norovirus.
Warm and humid growing conditions for things like alfalfa and bean sprouts lend themselves to perfect growing conditions for salmonella, E. coli, and listeria. Thoroughly cooking sprouts before placing them in any dish can help reduce the chance of you getting sick.
The last item on the list is flour, which is usually raw and hasn’t been treated and because we cook with it or use it in our baking, those germs are killed during cooking. Things like raw cookie dough have often been a source of food poisoning given that the flour in these staples hasn’t been cooked.
It’s nearly impossible to avoid food-borne illnesses altogether, but using the safety tips to enjoy the foods on the list above might save you from a firsthand experience with food poisoning. 1 in 6 people in the United States suffer through side effects of food-borne diseases, and more than 3,000 deaths each year are caused by foodborne pathogens, the CDC says.
This may help you want to “eat less” if you want to lose weight. I used to love raw chocolate chip cookie dough, but it does not look quite so appealing at the moment. Eat safe and enjoy!
Bon Appetit and Epicurious wrote this interesting article about our favorite snack – Cheese!
Putting cheese and crackers out at a party, whether sliced sharp cheddar and Triscuits or Humboldt Fog and crostini, is a simple way to welcome guests. Everyone loves cheese, and people will snack on it all night. But if hours go by and there’s still half a wedge of Brie on the cheese board, are you putting your friends in danger? In other words: How long can cheese sit out before you get sick or die?
Bringing cheese to room temperature is essential to help the fat loosen up, which gives the cheese a better texture and flavor. However, there is a ticking clock on how long it should stay out past that hour (or two) out of the fridge. To keep yourself safe from bacterial growth or spoilage, you should only keep cheese out for four hours, according to the director of food safety, quality, and regulatory compliance at Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin.
With that said, some cheeses fare better than others with quality after those four hours elapse. Higher moisture cheeses like ricotta, queso blanco, and mascarpone will deteriorate in quality and spoil faster when left on the counter. Soft cheeses including Brie, Camembert, or a bloomy-rind fancier cheese will last a little longer, and harder cheeses from cheddar to Gouda to Parmesan will hold up the longest. Parm, Romano, or harder cheeses will likely not have micro bacterium growth or very insignificant amounts throughout the duration of a party,. Those cheeses you’ll often see hanging in Italian markets or cut into pieces on display at the grocery store because they don’t require constant refrigeration.
Long before you get an upset stomach from cheese (uh, unless you’re lactose intolerant), you’ll probably notice that it’s looking a little sad. Cheese will dry out when left in open air, especially in a warmer room, and start to look crusty and crumbly. After eight hours on a cheese board, cheddar will likely not have a lot of bacterial growth, but it won’t look appealing to eat. However, there is no way to tell if there are bacteria on a piece of cheese based on looking because it’s microscopic. One thing you can tell immediately about a cheese gone bad is if there’s mold growing on it in the fridge. If you see that, cut off about 1–1½ inches around the mold and continue eating it. However, if a high-moisture cheese like ricotta or cream cheese has a spot of mold, throw it out it will have contaminated the entire container.
There has been some extensive research done in Wisconsin that proves cheese can stay out for up to six hours at 70°F or colder. Some cheeses tested for low levels of listeria, salmonella, Escherichia, and staphylococcus but nothing life-threatening. The level of water activity in a cheese determines how long it can stay out. Hard cheeses like Parmesan could be out for 24 hours and be fine, but a young cheddar is more vulnerable. You will see oiling off and drying out from it sitting out in the open air. If it starts to look like it’s glistening, that’s a sign to either put it back in the fridge or toss it.
Trust yourself. If it looks unappealing, don’t eat it. You probably won’t get sick, and definitely won’t die, but the quality of cheese can plummet dramatically after more than four hours at your party. Eat something else, take out a new block of cheese from the fridge, or maybe just serve fondue at your next party. Cheese sweats are always better than sweaty cheese.
*Pregnant women, the elderly, or people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for food-borne illness and should take a higher level of caution.
This handmade pasta is delicious with the classic broccoli raab sauce, with an uncooked sauce of tomatoes and basil, or in a cream sauce with mussels and mint. The dough comes out best if you work the water in very slowly; don’t try to bring in too much flour at one time. Flour amounts are listed by weight (oz.) and by volume (cups); use either measurement.
I made mine with chicken and home-made pesto with basil from my garden, with a little cilantro and parmesan on the top. It was yummy and very easy. It does take a little time. I usually watch the cooking channel or a funny movie. You have to happy when you cook.
225 g/ 1 1/2 cup semolina flour
255 g/3/4 cup + I Tbl unbleached all-purpose flour
255 g/1 cup warm water
2 tsp salt
1. In a bowl, whisk the flours together well. Mound the flour on a work surface, make a deep well in the center and pour 2 Tbs. of the water in the center. With two fingers, stir in a little flour from the walls of the well. When the water is absorbed and a paste has formed, repeat with more water until you have a soft but not sticky dough.
You can do this in your KitchenAid with the dough hook.
2. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it’s smooth and supple, 7 to 8 minutes. If it crumbles during kneading, wet your hands to moisten the dough slightly. Cut off a golfball-size chunk of dough; cover the rest with plastic wrap. Roll the chunk into a cylinder about 1 inch in diameter. With a very sharp knife, slice the cylinder into disks about 1/8 inch thick
3. Pick up a disk. If it’s squashed from cutting, squeeze it slightly between your thumb and index finger to return it to a circular shape. Put the disk in the palm of one hand and press down on it with the thumb of your other hand. Swivel your hand (not your thumb) twice to thin the center of the ear, leaving the rim a little thicker. If the dough sticks to your thumb, dip your thumb in a little flour as you work. Repeat with the rest of the dough. As you finish the disks, lay them on a clean dishtowel. When you’ve shaped an entire cylinder, sprinkle a little flour over the ears and repeat the process with a new chunk of dough.
4. If you’re not cooking the pasta immediately, spread the rounds out on floured baking sheets and leave them at room temperature at least overnight, or until they’re hard enough that you can’t slice them with a knife. (The time they take to dry depends on humidity and the moisture level in the dough itself.) Once the orecchiette is dry, transfer them to covered jars and store at room temperature.
5. You can as an alternative, freeze them on a baking sheet with parchment and then put in a sealed container once they are frozen. Cook directly from the freezer – do not thaw.
6. Bring a large pot filled with salted water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the orecchiette and simmer until they float to the surface, 2-3 minutes. Simmer for 1-2 minutes more, until al dente. Remove immediately with a slotted spoon and serve right away.
The recipe I used is from “Pasta by Hand” by Jenn Louis and I totally recommend buying this book!
Put your corridors to work as storage, seating, or gallery space with these ideas.
Hallways don’t just have to be connective space they can serve a multitude of functions despite the challenges that their long, narrow proportions present. Below, find a practical guide to making hallways that aren’t just for passing through.
Houzzers’ favorite entryways include features such as benches and an indoor contemplative garden
In the first three months of the year, Houzzers saved photos of grand main entry spaces and casual backdoor mudrooms that were full of great ideas. Benches for slipping off shoes, cubbies, and cabinets for storing outerwear and striking design elements such as flame-stitch-patterned wallpaper, an urban landscape mural, and log cabin siding caught our attention. Here are 10 great ideas from the most popular new entry photos uploaded in the first quarter of 2018.
1. Consider sidelights. An entry area behind a solid door may get little to no natural light. These large sidelights cleverly reference two-over-one double-hung windows at a suitable scale for the space and show off the way the log cabin detail on the exterior continues into the house.
2. Don’t ignore the floor in a back entry. The instinct for casual back- and side-entry floors is to go super practical and utilitarian. But durability and high style aren’t mutually exclusive. Slate in a herringbone pattern elevates this room’s design.
And in this popular back entryway, a gray-and-white harlequin floor brings pattern and style to the mudroom.
3. Include a bench. The previous photo shows off how to do a more casual backdoor bench, while this one shows how to incorporate a grander version in a front entry. The benches may serve the same functional purpose, but here the bench manages to be a piece of art as well.
4. Look to far-off lands for inspiration. Did you know you can search by country on Houzz? Click on “Photos” at the top of the page, then scroll down the left side of the screen to “Location” and pick your spot. With so many international Houzz sites, there are scads of places to search for exotic foreign inspiration. This indoor contemplative-garden entry in India made the most-popular list.
5. Plan built-ins thoughtfully. At first glance, these built-ins seem simple, but they are well-thought-out. There are baskets for shoes at the bottom, drawers for devices or gloves above those, cubbies big enough to sit in while putting on shoes, hooks for coats and bags, and baskets in the cubbies above for hats, umbrellas and other smaller accessories.
6. Offer a sneak preview of what’s to come. This Miami home has a lot of whites and neutrals enlivened by brightly colored pieces of art. The rug guests step-on right as they enter foreshadows the colors they’ll see throughout the house.
7. Wow with a mural. In this apartment, visitors are greeted by an urban landscape, hinting at the soft industrial influence the designer used throughout the home’s remodel. Other more practical components include shoe cabinets with a bench on top, hooks for coats and bags, a mirror and a compact laundry niche behind the black doors.
8. Add kapow to a small space. There was minimal room to work within this apartment’s entry, yet it still manages to be grand. The designer went for maximum impact via a showstopping flame-stitch-pattern wallcovering and an 18th-century marble-topped console. A large mirror makes the space feel lighter and larger, and the cobalt door signals that there’s some serious color wowing going on inside.
9. Combine an entry, mudroom, and pantry. This mudroom off the kitchen is a hardworking multifunctional space. The designers extended the style of cabinetry used in the kitchen and included extra pantry space in here. The homeowners can come in from the car with grocery bags and place them on the counter right away for unloading. The sink can serve as a hand-washing station (think muddy kids), bar sink and flower-cutting area. The coat-hook wall provides all the space for outerwear and shoes the homeowners need, as well as a bench.
10. Create function without construction. The best thing about this setup is that you can do it on a tight budget without having to remodel. The shoe racks double as a bench and the mirror and branch-shaped coatrack provide useful decorative touches. A simple basket can serve as a catchall for gloves, hats, and scarves in winter.
Share: What elements are must-haves for your front and back entry? Have you found any great solutions? Please tell us about them in the Comments.
Micro-kitchens, concealed burners, and new oven technologies are some of the surprises for 2018 brought to you in an article by Houzz.
Dream kitchens, live presentations of the latest smart-home appliances and cooking demos by famous chefs greeted visitors to EuroCucina and FTK (Technology for the Kitchen), the biennial events that took place during the latest installment of the Salone del Mobile trade fair in Milan, Italy, from April 17 to 22.
We kept an eye open for signs of how the most lively and innovative space in the house, the kitchen, is evolving. Among the exhibits were increasingly flexible setups, commercial appliances redesigned for the home cook and innovative new technologies. Picking up on the current trend of the integration of kitchen and living spaces, designers also presented kitchen features that either blend seamlessly into their surroundings or disappear altogether. Here are some of the kitchen innovations coming your way in 2018.
EO 01 freestanding kitchen, designed by Elisa Ossino for Sanwa
1. Beautifully designed compact kitchens. These kitchens have everything you need — a sink, cooktop and storage space — all in a mini unit.
SC 01 linear wall-mounted kitchen by Sanwa
Sanwa Company presented compact kitchens that fit well into any space.The floating model pictured here features an extractor hood and has an affordable price tag — compared to other models on the kitchen market of about $1,950 (1,600 euros).
Another compact kitchen on wheels (not pictured) can also be used in outdoor spaces and can accommodate a mini fridge.
AC 01 adjustable compact kitchen by Sanwa, designed by YutoRie
Designed with wheelchair users in mind, Sanwa presented another wall-mounted kitchen that can be raised or lowered at the touch of a button.
It features a panel that can be flipped down to conceal the kitchen appliances and convert the unit into a desk.
Inside System, a customizable walk-in unit, here containing a K-Lab kitchen, both by Ernestomeda
2. Super organized kitchen-bar. When the kitchen invades the living room, everything is exposed, and therefore everything needs to stay tidy. According to the 2018 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends survey, decluttering kitchen surfaces is a constant worry for the vast majority of respondents other kitchen obsessions, like replacing hand towels or composting, trailed far behind.
Therefore dividers, bottle holders, hangers, glassware racks and other organizers are becoming increasingly incorporated into kitchen designs. Ernestomeda offered a solution with its Inside System, which allows anything including a kitchen to be hidden behind fully retractable doors.
Surf kitchen drawer organizer by Ernestomeda
Natural and Color Trend by Stosa
3. Continuous surfaces. Kitchens that are open toward the living area are starting to look less and less like kitchens: Pantries match living room furniture and kitchen islands are starting to resemble large tables, made of a single material.
For example, Stosa has integrated gas cookers and a flush-mounted steel sink into a slate-grayhigh-pressure-laminate top.
Monolightkitchen prototype, designed by Fabrizio Crisà for Elica
Even more radical was Elica’s Monolight kitchen concept. This integrates the stove directly into the wood or stoneware counter, concealing induction cookers under the 0.2-inch-thick (5-millimeter-thick) surface.
“We are still working on this prototype, to make sure that the wood won’t change color or deform with the heat,” says designer Fabrizio Crisà, manager of Elica’s design center, in a press release. “I imagined a space without boundaries … in which technology merges with design to offer a new way of working in the kitchen. Even when not in use, this kitchen is a wonderful piece of design to look at.”
SapienStone and TPB Top Porzelanik Barcelona showcased their TPB Tech integrated induction cooker countertop.
BlastChiller by Electrolux
4. Commercial appliances for the home. More and more solutions born in restaurant kitchens are making their way into our homes. One example is the blast chiller, which freezes food with reduced crystallization and minimal effect on its taste and texture.
These are now available for the domestic market. Electrolux’s BlastChiller has three settings: soft chilling at 41°F (5°C), hard chilling at 37.4°F (3°C) and shock freezing at -0.4°F (-18°C). These can be activated either manually, by entering the weight of the food to be frozen, or automatically through a thermometer that measures the inside temperature of the food.
The KeepHeat oven by Hoover is another crossover from the world of commercial kitchens. It can bake but also keep food warm and fresh for prolonged periods of time, maintaining a constant temperature of 143.6°F (62°C). A technician at the Hoover booth told us food that has been vacuum-sealed can be safely stored at this temperature for up to two weeks.
The oven is targeted at those who only have time to cook on the weekends and want to have food ready on demand over the next few days, or for hosts who want to keep food fresh for their guests’ arrival.
Dialog oven by Miele
5. High-tech ovens and stoves. Having debuted last September at the IFA in Berlin, the Dialog oven is a completely new approach to making food.
Once the user has selected the type of food to be cooked on the touch-screen, two internal sensors direct electromagnetic waves at changing frequencies. They detect the weight of the food to be cooked, automatically adjust the amount of energy released and distribute the waves as needed through the oven during the cooking process.
This means that, unlike traditional ovens, which cook from the outside in, the Dialog cooks food evenly all the way through, or directs the energy to where it’s needed most. It can, therefore, cook a dish made up of several components, such as a roast surrounded by vegetables, to perfection all at once, saving time and effort.
It is completely different from its cousin, the microwave oven, despite what you might think at first. “The frequency of the waves is different, the effectiveness is different and the operating principle is different,” says Carlo Santeroni, a product and sales trainer at Miele. “The Dialog by Miele ‘converses’ with the food hence the name while a traditional microwave is only a monologue.”
Induction stove with integrated InductionAir extractor hood system by Siemens
Innovations to induction cooktops and stoves were also presented. Siemens, for example, has developed flexMotion, which remembers the cook settings of each element, allowing you to quickly move pots to another part of the stove. They also integrated a powerful extractor with a liquid collection tray for cleaning up spills.
“The vapors produced while cooking are not necessarily sucked away immediately,” says Giuseppe Rago, a training manager at BSH Home Appliances Group. “For example, this could happen when you are using a very high-walled pot. But the high power level of this hood makes it extremely effective. Our integrated ventilation system, in fact, can filter up to 690 cubic meters [2,500 cubic feet] of air per hour and is therefore suitable even for large spaces.”
SmegConnect, the Smeg iOS and Android app for smartphones and tablets
6. Connected kitchens. Internet-enabled kitchens deserve a separate section here, because more and more companies are introducing smart home automation systems, increasingly in more affordable models as well.
Apps already on the market allow you to peek inside your camera-equipped fridge to see what you’ll need before you go shopping, turn the oven on and monitor what is happening inside while on your way home from work and even set your washing machine and dishwasher cycles.
This year, Smeg enhanced its SmegConnect app to work with its wine cooler. The app allows the user to adjust the temperature in the wine cooler remotely, monitor stock and make purchases. It also connects to major Italian food websites, allowing novice wine lovers to learn more about wine storage and pairing. Stay tuned for linkups with international brands.
Last but not least, first-generation web-connected kitchens used smartphones and tablets as an interface; now everything is on a touch-screen that is integrated into the appliance itself. These screens have become increasingly large, intuitive and multicolored, and they now even offer video cooking tutorials.
Candy has even managed to transform the door of the Watch&Touch oven into a 19” internet-enabled touch-screen, on which you can watch video recipes or browse for and enter cooking settings.
Judging by this year’s fair, it won’t be long until the kitchen is fully integrated into our living rooms, our schedules, and our phones.