Granite is still the most popular kitchen countertop, but quartz comes in at number two and is gaining in popularity. Quartz is a very durable material that is easy to maintain. Quartz has a luxurious look and is available in a wide array of colors and styles. Undermount sinks pair well with quartz countertops. They provide a seamless look, add counter space, and are very easy to clean.
LED lighting is superior to incandescent lighting in a number of ways. Because of its energy efficient properties, LED lighting was specified in 77 per cent of the remodels over the past year. LED lights also don't give off the heat that incandescent lights do, making them perfect for in-cabinet and under-cabinet lighting. With LED lighting, there's more emphasis on color and brightness. It also pairs well with metallic backsplashes; it's reflective properties will make the backsplash the focal point of the room. Besides metal, other popular decorative backsplash materials are ceramic tile.and glass.
Lighter colors are currently much more popular than darker ones for kitchens. White is still at the top of the list, but gray has been moving up over the past couple of years. Gray can be used for walls, cabinets, or accessories and can be paired with white for a more dramatic look than all white or all gray. Shades of gray range from almost white to almost black. Gray walls and cabinets in the kitchen also blend well with stainless steel appliances. The pictures below are examples of gray walls or cabinets paired with either white or bright accent colors.
Remodeling is at its highest level in several years, with kitchen and bathroom remodels being the most common. For the next several days, we'll look at the top trends in kitchen design for 2013. Kitchens have become the social hub of the household; nowadays, entertaining centers around the kitchen rather than the living room. People want their kitchens to have both luxury and functionality. The remodels of smaller, older kitchens sometimes requires taking out walls to open up the space. As you can see in the pictures below, kitchens now have food prep or cooking areas facing out, so that the cook can converse and be connected to family and friends while preparing a meal. Kitchens now have high-end appliances and cabinetry, making food prep easier as well as giving the room an elegant look.
There's something about a crystal chandelier that brings elegance and impact to a room in a way that no single piece of furniture can. In a home with high ceilings, you could hang a chandelier in any room, including the kitchen or bathroom. If you wanted to get one of the best, many people say that would be a Strass crystal chandelier. The crystals are precision-cut in Switzerland and are coated so that dust won't stick. These chandeliers are expensive, but they're also guaranteed to last a lifetime. Swarovski crystals are made by the same manufacturer with the same high standards, but they're a little less expensive. Other well-made crystal chandeliers come from Italy, Bohemia, France, and Egypt.
The final element needed to create your perfect outdoor living space is landscaping. For a good landscaping design, you can break up the yard into separate sections with patio or deck areas made using concrete, wood, stone, brick, tile or pavers. Incorporate landscaping elements of different colors, textures, and a variety of forms like trees, shrubs, ground cover, flowers, pots, and hanging baskets. Even if you only have a tiny patio, you can still decorate it with plants in ceramic pots and flowers in hanging baskets. Try setting up a drawing of your yard, like the one shown here, so that you can see that there's a flow between all the different sections. Make sure you don't put in too many items. You want your yard to give you the same feeling of serenity that you'd get at a 5-star resort. While it seems like a lot of time, effort, and money to invest into creating your outdoor living space, it's well worth it if you feel like you're on vacation every time you sit outside.
This exterior remodeling project has been the inspiration for some of our recent blog post on outdoor living.
Things are starting to shape up. It still requires a little imagination, but now that the pool finish is redone, and the travertine pool deck pavers are going in, things are coming together. The fire and water features are bringing in life to the recessed entertaining area and will be more welcoming as the new plants go in around them.
We will be posting more photos as things come together in the next few weeks. Check back to see how things turn out as we add the sail shades over the pool area and the new outdoor barbeque area complete with custom outdoor cabinetry and prep area.
One of the intangibles about outdoor living is the ambience. Does the space feel inviting? Is it pleasant to be outdoors no matter what season it is or what time of day it is? There are a couple of items to include to make the your backyard more comfortable. One is adding a fire pit or fireplace. A fireplace/fire pit gives you a cozy gathering place and provides warmth in the winter and as it cools off in the evening hours. Plus you can even cook marshmallows or hot dogs on a stick. The other item to include is good lighting. Backyard lighting can be anything from string lights to LED planters to patio chandeliers. You can see in the pictures below that adding a fireplace and lighting make a big difference in how the space looks and feels.
Part of the outdoor living trend is that outdoor kitchens are almost as well-equipped for cooking as the main kitchen. Besides the standard grill, other features include warming drawers, ice makers, cooktops, refrigerators, sinks, beer coolers, rotisseries, dishwashers, trash drawers, pizza ovens and lots of storage. Outdoor cooking isn't just grilling meat anymore. It's also preparing all the side dishes and chilling the beverages. When the meal is ready, you can eat it in your outdoor dining room. Next, you can wash the dishes, throw out the trash and relax by the fire in your outdoor living room.