Kitchen Trends You Should Know for 2018

This is an article from Home Polish that I thought was very interesting.

The Kitchen Trends You Should Know for 2018

Whether your goal is a full makeover or simply sprucing up your space, when it’s time for a kitchen renovation, you want to know what’s in, what’s out, and what’s here to stay. Which is why we’re constantly polling our designers and contractors for the details on what elements are worth the investment.

 

 

Most importantly: what are your goals? Kitchen renovations typically have a 65 to 80% return on investment when you resell—but that too can vary depending on materials, features, and budgets. If this is your dream kitchen, go ahead and try out those custom wood emerald green-painted cabinets, but if you’re focused on resale, remember that what you adore (and what you adore right now) could isolate a potential buyer. That doesn’t mean you can’t create an of-the-moment kitchen, you’ve just got to know which features are best for long-term.

For most homeowners, countertops and brand-name appliances are the biggest splurges. Brand name appliances mean something to people having Sub-Zero or Wolf appliances is similar to having a nice car in your garage. It ultimately depends on the style of the kitchen a person is interested in and what they want to prioritize.

So, what trends and materials are of the moment?

 

 

Goodbye Granite?
According to a recent study by Houzz, granite has been on a three-year decline among homeowners.

The small-scale texture of granite feels more dated than the larger scale texture offered by quartz and marble. People are willing to invest in their kitchens, so they will often choose higher-end materials like marble. Quartz is more durable than marble but looks very similar, so homeowners are able to get that high-end look without having to deal with the expensive upkeep of a material like marble.

Granite countertops stain easily and are not as durable to the everyday wear and tear of a family using their kitchen. So people prefer the less expensive option (quartz) that is also much more durable.”

But plenty of developers are still reaching for the classic, despite its price (depending on where you live and how much is needed.

Calcutta marble continues to be a go-to for high-end developers and clients alike. Its gray veining is quite universally liked and is never too aesthetically controversial for resale purposes.

 

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White Out 
The all-white kitchen, adorn by modernists and minimalists alike, might be taking a backseat. Dana is noticing some people straying to the other end of the spectrum.

White kitchens are always de rigueur, especially in modernist homes, but we are seeing many clients opt for black now too. We recently even did a kitchen that was navy, which looked great.

And it’s no wonder people might be shying away from that all-white look, besides the stain factor, it can also be tricky to achieve.

There are a few downsides to an all-white kitchen. Making all of the whites match each other—from cabinets, tile, paint, and more—is incredibly difficult. The whites need to be complementary and blend well together. Even if all the whites do match perfectly, sometimes this palette can result in a less interesting, flat looking kitchen.

 

 

Hues You Can Use
So what colors are on the rise specifically?

White kitchens will always be popular, but we anticipate we’ll see less of the all-white kitchen this year. We are seeing two-toned kitchens and colors like navy, gray, and hunter green.

The trend of white/dark kitchens will make an adjustment and we will start seeing more colorful kitchens like we see in Europe.

While these bold colors can seem daunting, especially if you have resale in mind, there are plenty of ways to inject color into your space without investing in red tiles or emerald green cabinetry.

There are ways to make a colorful statement without breaking the bank: using accent colors on staple kitchen accessories like teapots, KitchenAid mixers, toasters, and linens can really bring the space to life and add personality.

A fun backsplash always adds pizzazz to any kitchen. Something in the blue family can add punch without being too loud, and patterned mosaics are always an artful option too.

All Matte Everything 
From finishes to hardware to kitchen appliances, you might notice things are sleeker than ever. Enter matte black

Companies like LG and Vipp have released entire lines of matte black stainless steel appliances that can add a layer of sophistication to any kitchen.

It’s all about matte black: kitchen islands, hardware, faucets, and refrigerators.  Paired with a glossed countertop or glazed backsplashes, the matte finish adds a contemporary twist.

 

 

Embrace the Dark Side 
Speaking of dark, while quartz and marble continue to reign supreme among countertop types, expect to see some experimentation.

Marble and brass hardware are not completely out, and for a good reason  The crisp and modern combination continues to elevate drab kitchens, but now designers are playing with higher contrast combinations. Instead of Carrera marble, designers are opting for Nero Marquina.

And this trend of moodier and darker kitchens goes beyond countertops.

Darker countertops, matte black, brass hardware, and deep forest green and navy kitchen cabinets are paving the way.

 

 

Beyond the Farm
While large, farmhouse sinks have been on the rise, our sources are noticing people opt for a more simple approach.

The Farm sink trend will slowly fade away this year and we will go back to under-mount sinks.  The farmhouse sink fade also goes back to convenience.  They look great initially but you’ll get splashed all the time and they don’t wear well at all, grit and grime shows up too much against the white!

However, considering the rise in vibrant shades, your classic steel under-mount sink just won’t do.  We will start seeing the trend of stainless steel sinks fade away. Colors will be big this year, even for sinks.

 

A Better Backsplash
In search of some creative inspiration? Lean into a global, old-world style.

This past year has seen a high number of kitchens using the countertop as the backsplash on the walls.  We will see less of that this year and more Spanish-style tiles in the kitchen and throughout the home. These trends are making a strong come back, and I expect to see a lot more of them this year.

Easy Access
Kitchen design has always been about balancing fashion with functionalism. (What good is a new kitchen if you can’t actually cook in it?) According to a recent study from Houzz, three-quarters of remodelers obsess over decluttering.

One trendy way to reduce counter clutter and achieve organizational bliss: Open cabinetry for spice racks, storage bins that are behind glass cabinets for easy access.

One other idea for a functional space isn’t so new but back in vogue: the pantry cabinet: a full height pantry cabinet can be incredibly useful, even if it means you need to give up a bit of counter space.

 

 

Mix and Match
Beyond bold color choices, designers are also being a bit more playful in they are put it all together.

With the trend of seeing more colors in the kitchen, we will see sharper contrasts than before. For example, making the island cabinets a different color than the kitchen cabinets (which is very common now). Or perhaps extreme contrasts between the cabinets and the appliance colors in order to help incorporate a different look for the kitchen.

We see people experimenting with mixing different types of countertops. For example, perhaps the kitchen island serves as a showpiece and is a high-end material like marble because it is a place of entertainment, but the rest of the kitchen countertops are quartz. The quartz still has a high-end look, but is more durable and better suited for food prep.”

The kitchen island can now act and look like independent pieces of furniture that do not have to perfectly match the surrounding kitchen.  Modern farmhouse islands have transformed into free-standing vintage butcher tables and the marble waterfall island is now the Vipp matte black island.”

A Natural Touch
En Vogue in the ‘90s, wooden cabinetry will likely have its resurgence (much like everything else from that era). Thankfully, it’s not in the way most of us remember.

Wood cabinets are making a comeback but in a much less traditional sense. People are interested in a form that is less detailed and more unfinished looking.  We are seeing this deconstructed premise of wood in many applications beyond cabinets as well, such as reclaimed wood ceilings or open shelving with wood.

As one of the three major investments of a kitchen remodel, cabinetry can have a great resale payoff in the long-run. You can never go wrong with beautiful wooden cabinetry as it endures and the fronts can easily be swapped out or re-painted or stained as needed in the future.

 

 

Finish With Some Drama
One of the most exciting places to experiment: lighting. And our designers encourage you to keep going wild.

Asymmetrical kitchen lighting has started gaining traction in 2017 and will continue to evolve over the next couple years. Instead of falling into the classic double or triple pendants above the kitchen island, designers are creating moments of drama by justifying pendants over to unexpected areas. By redirecting the eye with an asymmetrical pendant, the homeowner has the opportunity to create mini vignettes or highlight their favorite kitchen object.

Kitchen Trends You Should Know for 2018

Ceramic Tile versus Porcelain

This is an interesting article from Houzz
All tile is created equal, right? Not quite. Porcelain and ceramic may belong to the same family, but they’re two slightly different products. One may be more advantageous than the other depending on where you’re installing it. Here we pose five scenarios and explain whether porcelain or ceramic is the better choice.

But before we walk through each scenario, let’s note the key difference between porcelain and ceramic tile. Though they’re manufactured with different types of clay, the Tile Council of North America defines porcelain in terms of water absorption. Specifically, porcelain tiles absorb less than 0.5 percent of water. Ceramic and other non-porcelain tiles absorb more than 0.5 percent water.

 

Ceramic Tile versus Porcelain

Here’s a fun one

You Should Keep Toothpaste in Your Laundry Basket—Here’s Why

This is from Apartment Therapy

Laundry isn’t just about washing dirty clothes so you have clean ones to wear. It’s about cleaning and maintaining your wearables and textiles so that they always look their best, whether that means making jewelry sparkle, getting stains out of the lining of a purse, or keeping shoes looking their sharpest. And there’s a simple way to have all those things: A tube of non-gel toothpaste.

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Next time you’re grocery shopping, grab a basic tube of toothpaste and stash it in your laundry room, or with the bag or kit, you take with you to the laundromat. It can do so much more than brushing your pearly whites.

Here are some of our favorite things that you can do with toothpaste:

Clean the rubber off your sneakers. Scrub with an old toothbrush and a dab of toothpaste to get those white rubber edges looking like new.

Get the gunk off your iron. Squeeze some toothpaste onto a rag and scrub your iron with it. Wipe off with another wet rag and dry.

Remove lipstick, ink, and grass stains from clothing. Cover the stain with toothpaste, rub together vigorously, rinse with warm water, and launder as usual.

Remove wine stains from tablecloths. Smear with toothpaste and let sit before laundering as usual.

Address exploding ink stains with toothpaste. Using the same basic method as above, dab toothpaste on the stains, rub together and then rinse.

Make jewelry sparkle. Use an old toothbrush and some toothpaste to scrub everything from gold chains to your rings’ precious stones. Rinse and wear.

Remove errant wads of gum from clothing. Smear the toothpaste over the gum and then flatten the wad with a ruler or something else with a flat, sharp edge. Once the toothpaste dries, the gum should be easier to remove.

Buff scuffed shoes. Dab with toothpaste and rub with a soft cloth.

Here’s a fun one

Reese’s Stuffed Rice Krispies Treats 

Talk about easy and way too delicious!   These are the new Rice Krispy Treats.  It’s not that traditional Rice Krispies aren’t good,  they’re just a little boring and safe. These are the opposite. They’re over-the-top and surprising in a way that everyone, including Krispies, treats purists, will love.

And it just does not get any easier….

Ingredients
Cooking spray, for pan
5 tbsp. butter
1 (10-oz.) bag marshmallows
1/2 c. smooth peanut butter
Pinch kosher salt
6 c. Rice Krispies Cereal
12 Reese’s cups
1/4 c. melted peanut butter, for garnish
1/4 c. melted chocolate, for garnish
Directions
  1. Line a 9”-x-13” pan with parchment paper and grease with cooking spray. In a large pot over medium-low heat, melt butter. Stir in marshmallows, peanut butter, and salt and stir until mixture is melted. Remove from heat.
  2. Immediately add Rice Krispies and stir with a rubber spatula until combined. Working quickly, press half of mixture into an even layer in the pan, then top with a layer of Reese’s. Press remaining mixture over Reese’s.
  3. Drizzle with melted chocolate and peanut butter, then refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes.
  4. Slice into squares and serve.  Maybe that should say slice & eat!
Reese’s Stuffed Rice Krispies Treats 

12 MYTHS ABOUT COFFEE

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12 MYTHS ABOUT COFFEE

Two Buck Chuck ~ The Real Stor

HOW TRADER JOE’S WINE BECAME CHEAPER THAN BOTTLED WATER

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“CHARLES SHAW WINE USED TO BE GREAT — AND NOBODY DRANK IT. NOW, IT’S TERRIBLE AND IT’S SELLING LIKE GANGBUSTERS.”

“I TRIED TO PUT IT ALL BEHIND ME BUT I NEVER STOPPED THINKING ABOUT WINE.”

Two Buck Chuck

Charles not in charge

Two Buck Chuck
Two Buck Chuck ~ The Real Stor

Rump Cap Roast is amazing!

The rump cap cut features heavily in Brazilian cooking, where it is known as the Picanha. With a decent amount of fat coverage to keep it moist, the rump cap is perfect for barbecues and roasting. Today’s recipe will be focusing on the latter, as we’ll be creating a heavenly roast that packs plenty of punch in the flavor department…

You’ll need:

  • 1 cut of rump cap (approx. 3⅓ lb)
  • coarse salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 3⅓ fl oz olive oil

For the filling:

  • 12⅓ oz diced mozarella
  • 4¼ oz chopped bacon
  • 1 diced red pepper
  • 2 diced onions
  • 1 tsp oregano

For the sauce:

  • 10 fl oz red wine
  • 2 tbsp plum jelly
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

Here’s how:

1. Remove the fat and sinew from the rump cap and sear it on both sides in a pan containing vegetable oil. After removing it from the pan, leave it to cool for a short while.

2. Use a sharp knife to cut off a thin slice from the larger side of the rump cap. Next, cut a deep pocket into the meat as in the image below.

3. Now carefully roll the pocket inside out, making sure the rump cap doesn’t get torn in the process.

4. Chop up the onions, peppers, and bacon and fry them in a pan. Transfer the contents of the pan into a bowl containing diced mozzarella and stir everything together with the oregano.

Add the filling to the meat. Close the pocket with cocktail sticks and rub the paprika, coarse salt, and pepper onto both sides of the meat.

5. Place the rump cap in an oven set to 390°F with the top and bottom heat on for 35 minutes. Afterward, leave it to rest for 10 minutes.

For the sauce, reduce the red wine and add the plum jelly, a pinch of salt, and some cayenne pepper. Leave the sauce to cook for five more minutes.

It’s surprising to see that this sumptuous cut of meat is fairly unknown in everyday cooking. That’s why it’s down to you to spread the word by preparing this hearty roast for all your friends and family!

Rump Cap Roast is amazing!

 Granite vs. Quartz

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.
 Granite vs. Quartz

SHOULD YOU BE WASHING YOUR SHEETS MORE OFTEN IN SPRING AND SUMMER

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.

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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.
Bedding First things first: There is a difference in the frequency with which you should wash your bedding. In the winter, it’s perfectly acceptable to change your sheets every other week. During the warmer months, though, that doesn’t cut it. We recommend a weekly routine in the spring and summer as we have a tendency to sweat much more.

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 Campylobacter transmitted 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.

SHOULD YOU BE WASHING YOUR SHEETS MORE OFTEN IN SPRING AND SUMMER

5 Ways to Take Better Care of Your Knives, According to Chefs

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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.”

Taking care of your knives

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 knife on 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.”

Incorporate oil.

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.

5 Ways to Take Better Care of Your Knives, According to Chefs