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Simple home recipes and food stories

Revamp Your Cooking Nook with a Kitchen Island

Posted by on May 25, 2013 in Kitchen corner | 10 comments

 

The spring and summer season is the perfect time to work on home improvement projects or room renovations. With the cooking trend getting more families spending more time in the kitchen, homemakers can work on expanding their kitchen or remodeling it for a more efficient use of space. Those who would like to give their kitchen a new and upgraded look can take advantage of this season to have a kitchen island installed. These free standing work stations are considered as a trendy element in modern kitchen designs. Homeowners can build these structures on their own or hire a contractor to do it for them.

As with any home furnishing, the basic considerations in choosing a kitchen island are size, features, and style. The size would of course depend on the available space. Kitchen islands are ideally used in open kitchens. Small and enclosed kitchens are poor candidates for an island, as there should be ample space to move around the island without bumping or toppling anything. Check the kitchen parameters and get exact measurements before making any purchase.

kitchen island

image via http://www.digsdigs.com/

When it comes to the features of the island, homeowners would have to evaluate their kitchen needs. If they would simply need additional counter space and storage, then a flat surface with built-in racks, shelves and cabinets at the bottom will suffice. Those who would like their islands to be utilized as prep and serving area may opt to have a secondary sink in their island. Others who have big and open spaces usually opt to have a fully equipped island with sink, cook-top, and sophisticated storage at the bottom. Some would even place a couple of chairs at one side of the island where their guests can sit or eat while they cook.

As far as style is concerned, the choice will depend on the personal preference of the homeowner and the interiors of the kitchen. The popularity of this kitchen feature has resulted to the availability of numerous designs that one can choose from or get inspiration from. It doesn’t matter if it’s a D-I-Y or a custom built one, having a kitchen island in the house can improve your kitchen in looks and functionality.

 

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Enjoy a Meal with the Family on Your Cozy Breakfast Nook

Posted by on May 8, 2013 in Kitchen corner | 6 comments

 

If you’re building a home or planning to remodel one, you might want to include a breakfast nook in the plan. It’s a smart and multi-functional space-saver that every kitchen should have. Most homes with limited floor space incorporate breakfast nooks, as these not only serve as a cozy eating space but it can also be used as a workstation. A breakfast nook is often positioned near the window, usually in an alcove or bay. The purpose is for the nook to catch the morning light.

breakfast nook

cozy and inviting

However, it’s no longer surprising to see a variety of breakfast nooks these days. Some nooks are elaborate while others are very simple. Some are elevated with high chairs or stools and this style is perfect for smaller kitchens. On the other hand, large families prefer L-shaped nooks as it can accommodate many people in one sitting.

A breakfast nook can make mornings better. Imagine yourself rousing from sleep, padding through your kitchen, and settling yourself in your nook with a cup of hot coffee in your hand. As you sit cozily in your nook, you can pore over the morning paper or make a quick scan of your email inbox. It’s a scene typical during the weekends. Yet, if you have a breakfast nook, every morning can give you a warm and cozy weekend feel to it.

The breakfast nook is where a family can gather and comfortably enjoy a home-cooked meal before they start the day. As much as possible, you want the breakfast nook to be just the right size. It shouldn’t be too large; otherwise, you’re bound to lose the intimacy for which breakfast nooks are known to imbue. For a family of four, a good-sized breakfast nook would be around six to eight feet wide and five to seven feet deep. The proportions would give each person ample room for themselves without taking away the cozy feeling.

To make sure that you set the right mood for your breakfast nook, go with hardwood flooring to match the warm hues of your kitchen. Oakwood makes a fine choice as it exudes warmth and comfort. They say that the kitchen is unanimously the most favorite room in the house. You can prove this true by incorporating hardwood floors to go with the warm hues in your kitchen.

Breakfast nooks of old were always built beside windows to let natural light seep through. You can do this with your breakfast nook, too. Make sure you build or place it near big windows to allow for plenty of daylight. Why is this important? Well, natural light coming from the sun will make the room cheery and comfortable. Moreover, it makes the entire kitchen look “livable.” However, more than that, natural light makes any meal you put on the breakfast nook look delicious.

Remember, sharing a meal with the family can strengthen familial bonds. As insignificant as it may seem to some, a breakfast nook can just be the thing to hold a family closer together.

 

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Five Apps for Interior Designers

Posted by on Jan 31, 2013 in Kitchen corner | 0 comments

 

Interior designers need applications to organize ideas and provide inspiration for client designs. Interior designers need ways to spark creativity and increase productivity. Consider these five apps for interior designers to improve home design.

1. Houzz

Houzz allows interior designers around the world to post their portfolios. With this web-based application, designers can create Ideabooks or photo libraries from bookmarks. Designers create Ideabooks for bedrooms, tile installations, and photo walls. Each designer’s works can be organized, searched and retrieved by city. Houzz has often been compared to Pinterest in its operation, and designers get their inspiration from this application.

There are over 70,000 photos and 150,000 ideas featured in this application from other architects, designers and landscapers. Favorite ideas can be retrieved from the application without a WiFi connection. Houzz is free.

houzz, interior designer app

get this from https://play.google.com/

2. MySurface

Kitchen and bath designers love this application because it aids in the tile selection process. Selecting complementary colors, textures, and counter samples is simplified with MySurface. This application does not contain every surface available, but it does have popular selections from Corian and Zodiaq.

3. Moodboard

Designers who need to create concept boards will love Moodboard. Designers crop photos and save links to aid in the creation of concept boards. With paint strip, designers can fill the color palette with colors to be used in concept boards. Creations can be emailed, and frames for photos can be created.

4. Room Design for iPad

This floor plan designer is a lifesaver if customized measurements and furniture layouts are needed. According to evaluators, this application is one of the best on the market and has minimal glitches. Though Room Design for iPad does not support three-dimensional images, the application is recommended for basic black and white photographs. The application features customizable elements such as flooring and other architectural elements. There are also 800 different furniture items to select.

Some people find this application somewhat more difficult to navigate, but the functionality is worth the effort of learning the application. Once the application is mastered, it provides maximum flexibility.

5. StonePedia

StonePedia has a vast array of various stone and marble selections. Designers peruse the application for flooring, fireplace slabs and countertops. StonePedia is advanced enough to sort by color. Designers revel in the bevy of stones and slabs offered. Common surfaces found on this website include granite, marble, Caesarstone and Curava.

Designers Benefit From These Applications

Designers benefit from applications. The creativity of designs created in the home are significantly improved. Consider how these applications can be incorporated into home design. When applications are integrated, creativity and productivity improve and unique designs are created. The applications are affordable and user-friendly.

Cameron is a Designer from Queensland, Australia. He has just finished decorating his new house from Metricon Homes at Maddison Estate and found these five to be very helpful and would recommend them to anyone.

 

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Fitting and Cleaning the Kitchen plus a Hearty Meal

Posted by on Jun 6, 2012 in Kitchen corner, pasta | 18 comments

Whether we admit it or not, we are all influenced by our work environment. A good working environment is even considered as motivational criteria by some employers. The same thing applies to us homemakers who work on providing a good home and nutritious meal for the family. And so if you ask me, does the kitchen have an effect on how one, particularly the homemaker, performs in it? Then my answer is – I believe yes, it does.

A clean and well organized kitchen can make preparing meals a pleasant experience for moms or any member of the family who attempts to cook. Just like an artist, a cook needs good ambience to inspire the creation of a culinary masterpiece. Fitting your kitchen with the right equipment and furnishings can help you create an inspiring atmosphere for cooking.

kitchen blocks

Our kitchen cabinets were customized to fit.

The most prominent furniture that you can find in the kitchen is the cabinet. Thus, some careful thought is required in purchasing and fitting these cabinets in your kitchen. You don’t need to blow your budget to get the look you want for your kitchen. There are plenty of cheap kitchen cabinets that are stylish and well designed.

If you are new to this endeavor, then I suggest you consult a designer or do some research on the kitchen styles and layout that you want for your kitchen. Kitchen Cabinet Kings for example, an expert online resource for new kitchen installation and redecorating purposes. If you are simply looking to install or replace your existing cabinets then look for style options that can fit your kitchen, your needs and the ambience you want.

You might opt for wooden cabinets in classic designs combined with modern steel appliances that create a mix of homey traditional feel and cool efficiency of modern times. This type of design allows one to keep a spic and span kitchen that motivates me to do a lot of cooking and baking at home. You should also try to find a kitchen cabinet style that can motivate you to whip up gourmet treats for your loved ones. This way you can create hearty meals for the family that truly comes from your heart. Our kitchen was planned by hubby and customized to fit. I truly love it!

shrimps, dried tomato on pasta

A favorite.

Cleaning the kitchen is another story. I can’t move around well when there’s clutter and when pans and plates are all on top of the countertops. :/ It is much easier to move around when everything is squeaky clean. I try my best to do so and whenever I do I always come up with something good on the plate.

With that and summer vacation fast approaching, it seems to be shaping up as days of a lot of cooking. One of those hearty meal that I enjoy preparing not just for being easy but for being yummy as well is Shrimp and Dried Tomatoes on Pasta.

Here’s my take:

Ingredients:

Half a kilo of Spaghetti or Angel hair pasta
Half a kilo of cocktail shrimps or regular shrimps, peeled and deveined and wash thoroughly, dry with kitchen towels
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsps olive oil
5-7 pieces of dried tomatoes, chopped
1/8 cup of dried basil
Seasalt
Parsley, chopped

Procedure:

1. Cook pasta al dente. Drain and set aside.

2. In a pan, heat olive oil and saute garlic followed by shrimps. Cook until pink and firm.

3. Add dried tomatoes and dried basil, lower heat. Toss spaghetti in and remove from heat.  Season with seasalt to taste.

4. Top with chopped parsley and serve with buttered baguette.

shrimp2

A healthy, hearty meal too.

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