The Best Open Shelving For Under $30

SEE HOW A WALL SHELF CAN ADD STORAGE IN YOUR HOME

Open shelving in kitchens can come in many styles and sizes...what is right for you?  Kitchen-Open-Shelving-Gray-and-White-Kitchen -the inspired room

Look at 10 photos of kitchen, or bath, renovations today and a good percentage of them will utilize open wall shelving.  Sure they look attractive but will open shelves really work in our homes or is this a look best suited for the magazines only?

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If The World Is Your Oyster..

You Can Learn How To Select Timeless Paint Colors

Today let’s look at some fantastic interior design that takes a clue from mother nature and the humble oyster shell, creating spaces that are uniquely appealing.  If you are new to the blog, we invite you to sign up to follow us on a regular basis.  Sign up in the link below and we will send you the list of  8 favorite paint colors inspired by a plate of oyster shells!  Already an email follower and want the list?  Simply drop us an email and the list will be on it’s way.

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Friday Night Cat Fight Take Two

THE BENEFIT OF FINDING THE RIGHT INTERIOR DESIGN PARTNER

Architectural Digest Tub In An Alcove, Black Penny Floor Tile, Vessel Soaking Tub, Gold Mirror and Statement Light Fixture, Black and White Stripe Vanity Chair

It’s been said working with two designers is like putting a pair of cats in a bag and letting them work it out.  It’s not a pretty thought.  While we can see how this might happen, nothing could be further from the truth with our partnership.  This week, with hurricane Irma looming, I am even more thankful for how well we work together from two different cities.

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3 Ways To Spend Your “Labor” Day At Home

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO JUMPSTART THE FALL?

Oh, there is nothing better than a 3 day weekend when a “little” holiday falls on Monday.  You know what kind of holiday I am talking about.  One that does not require loads of planning, preparation or extra commitments.  These 3 day weekends allow us to spend casual time with friends and family and still have a whole “free” day to ourselves.  Perhaps like me, you’ve eaten well, laughed hard and are thinking about what you might be able to “get done” around the house with this glorious free day.  There is also nothing that feels better to me than accomplishing something that has been nagging me but keeps getting pushed back on the To Do List.  So I think I’ll plan a bit of “labor” for this Labor Day.

Betcha cat can't do these!

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Home, Home On The Range

Zucchini Shrimp Scamp via laurel bledsoe at littleblackdomicile.com

TOO HOT TO HANDLE….LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR BTU’S AND 6 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A GAS RANGE

Professional Series Gas range
via Pinterest

 

A BTU (British thermal unit) is a measure of heat output and applies to the power generated by gas stovetops and ranges.  The capacity of gas burners is measured in BTU per hour.  Residential ranges, patterned after commercial units, have BTUs of 12,000 to 25,000.  If you have one, or are planning a kitchen design, you no doubt know what these are.  But do you really know why you need these?  It’s gotta be for a better reason than bragging rights.

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Ok Monday…Let’s Do This!

 

ONE FREE THING EVERYONE CAN DO TO UPDATE THEIR KITCHEN

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Designers are just like everyone else.  We sneak in some weekend internet time to save photos of all kinds of inspiration for our homes.  We are trained, and have years of experience, that help us see things others might miss.  In our minds, there is always a “what if” churning.  Some concepts take time and money.  All good.  Plan the work and work the plan.  But what can we do now?  Personally,  I’ve found that small accomplishments in our home keep me motivated.  Something that can be done quickly, like “right now”!  Basically for sweat labor  free and make me feel like I have made a positive difference in our life.   Tall order…easy fix!

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Even Wonder Woman Has Secrets

LOVE TO COOK BUT HATE TO CLEAN UP?

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vcg Canada Flag

I’ll say it…”Sometimes Canadian’s are just much more cool than Americans.” Yes, this is my opinion and before you agree or disagree, let me show you what I mean.

(Before you click over to read this fun “how to post”…care to share littleblackdomicile with a friend?  Share buttons are below!)

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THE NUMBER ONE WAY TO MAKE OUR KITCHENS LOOKS THEIR BEST

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Kitchens!  Is there another room in our homes that pulls at our heart strings more than our kitchens?  No matter if we love them, or hate them…we think about them nearly every day.  So what can we do to make them look their best?

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Gut Reaction

10 THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE A KITCHEN RENOVATION

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Done right….a kitchen can handle any decor you can dream up.  The question is are you ready for the renovation of the most important room in your home?

Most of us have a kitchen.  Many say it is the heart of the home.  We want to suggest it is more than that…it is also the brain.  Kitchens of today have to function at warp speed.  They are our grand central stations allowing everyone to meet before dispersing for the day. They are busier than any restaurant, offering everything from a quick pop tart to a 5 course “I want to be a chef!” labor of love.  Daily homework, craft projects and bill paying take place somewhere in the vicinity.  Too many of our electronics are charging all over the counters. Pets are hanging around hoping someone remembers it is their kitchen too.   Kitchens are usually full of both laughter and tears.  We can’t think of any other room in our homes as important.  Because kitchen projects are number one on everyone’s to do list, it’s safe to say we might also have a little “kitchen obsession” going on.

During initial consultations, with clients centered around kitchen projects, we hear one of two things….

 “I love my kitchen and want the rest of the house to feel as welcoming!” 

OR

(more likely)

“I hate my kitchen.  I am exhausted spending all my free time online looking at ideas.  Help!”

If you are in the later group and considering a major kitchen renovation, you are in a large group.  Full kitchen renovations are expensive.  Even kitchen facelifts can be costly.  Planning and implementing a kitchen renovation requires more work than showing a contractor one of your many inspiration photos.  Here is our shameless plug…this is a good time to hire a full service designer.  Someone who will be the “glue” in the project to make sure all goes as planned.  Architectural Digest recently published this wonderful article (questions below) about what to ask yourself (or have your designer ask you) if you are considering a kitchen renovation.  Let’s look at some great kitchen examples as we consider the “gut” of your most important space.

 

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Remodelista

1. What is your objective?

“Are you planning to sell your home in three years?  Are you intending to spruce up for that sale?  Or are you looking to have all the bells and whistles?”

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2. How long do you plan to live in the home?

“If you’re going to be living there for one or two years, you probably want to consider a different type of renovation, something that’s maybe not as costly or something that’s more timeless and traditional in the aesthetic that’s chosen by your design team.” “If you’re going to be living there a little bit longer, then naturally you’ll be spending a bit more and designing something that you really love.”

Like Appliances -See Here

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Mommies Magazine

3. Do you have children?

“If so, where are you going to store everything?  Are you going to have a kitchen with a magnetic board; do you hang your children’s artwork?”  Resilient, easy-to-clean materials, whether wood or stone, are also ideal for kid-friendly kitchens.

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Rutland, UK

4. Do you have allergies and health issues to consider?

If someone in your family suffers from asthma or other breathing issues, let your contractor know. “Things that are important to stay away from if you do have any of those concerns are high-gloss lacquers and urea and phenol formaldehyde, which are used in the adhesives of most plywoods.”

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Boswell Construction

5. Will you be living in your home during the renovation?

“It adds to the lead time and the construction duration, so that’s something that’s very important to know.  It also adds to the level of protection and cleanliness that needs to be maintained in the renovation.”

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Remodelista

6. What is your budget?

“This question has to be something that’s first answered for yourself, so you understand what amount of money you want to spend, but it’s important to be honest with the people on your design team, and your contractors, about what that number is.” Once you have a number, add a 10 to 20 percent contingency.

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Westmere House

7. What have people in similar homes accomplished, and what have been their limitations?

“What I always encourage on first meetings, in New York City especially, is that you invite your building’s superintendent,”.  “Getting to the answer of ‘Can we do it?’ sooner rather than later is very, very helpful in the process.” Research local zoning laws, landmark preservation rules, and yard setbacks, too.

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HJ White

8. Can you remove that wall to open up the kitchen?

“It’s very easy to ask the building’s superintendent or other people within the building that may have completed renovations. It’s also great to schedule walk-through with those people to see what they’ve done.”

Opening closed floor plans is what 75% of owners and prospective buyers want.  They’d like to be able to have each area connected to the next.  Completely removing walls can be costly.  Making openings wider or adding large pass-through can achieve open concepts without the expense of a total gut and rebuild.  Plan the openings on paper in a scaled plan before talking with a tradespersons.  This is not a good time for assumptions.

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Remodelista

9. What’s behind those walls?

“Are there utilities that limit the amount of wall that can be removed safely?”

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Remodelista

10. When can we get started?

“I always say that a well-planned project is a well-executed project,” “Take the time with the architecture and/or design team to properly plan everything that you’re doing. Source your long-lead materials and purchase them in advance.”

To recap, yes, we understand the kitchen is the room in our home that always pulls at our heartstrings. We want it to look great as it takes care of us everyday.  To all the kitchens out there …we say thank you for sharing your love.

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S Zarin Goldberg

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Practice Makes Perfect

KITCHENS AND THE ART OF COOKERY

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The definition of cookery is the practice or skill of preparing and cooking food. It’s a British word and one I thought meant the actual place of the events.  Something that could be used as a sub for our word kitchen.  However, it’s a verb not a noun. Cookery certainly sounds more continental than cooking, and conjures up visions of  kitchens a tad more unconventional than ones in the U.S.  Wouldn’t you love to practice cookery in any of these simply savvy kitchens?

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