Posted on December 31, 2018
We know that many of our blog readers will make New Year’s resolutions to either improve their health, lose weight or both (I know we all have!). There are numerous reasons to make weight loss resolutions. Losing weight makes you healthier, gives you more energy and helps to reduce fat and build muscle. If you subscribe to a particular diet or simply elect to eat healthier, there are certain kitchen tools that can help guide the way and make dieting easier.
One of the first appliances that people turn to when starting a diet is a blender. We prefer blenders with high-torque motors that can quickly and easily convert solids into liquids to create healthy shakes, smoothies and other drinks that the entire family can enjoy.
Emersion or hand blenders enable you to mix, chop, whisk and blend, at the stove, countertop or anywhere else in the kitchen that you prepare meals. If you don’t already have a hand blender, look for one with multiple speeds.
A food processor can slice, dice and chop foods in a matter of seconds. Food processors are great for making healthier snacks and appetizers such as fresh hummus or homemade granola.
An air fryer gives you the taste and crunch of fried foods using approximately 75 percent less oil than a conventional fryer. An air fryer is a convection oven that circulates hot air around food to cook it. Air fryers come in a variety of sizes. The largest of which can cook a meal for a family of four looking to reduce fat and calories.
Another cool gadget for dieting is a spiralizer that takes vegetables such as zucchini, squash and carrots and turns them into spaghetti.
Cooking beef, duck and chicken in a rotisserie convection toaster oven will help reduce fat and calories.
A slow cooker prepares food as its name implies slowly. Slow cooking preserves nutrients in food thereby making your meals healthier, tastier and easier to digest.
A good quality kitchen scale can help with portion control. Portions are based on weight and not size. To get in the habit of eating the right portions, you need to weigh your food.
A brand new kitchen will make meal preparation easier and more enjoyable. We can help with that as well. Please call us at (insert phone number) or visit us at (insert address) to determine how a new kitchen for your home can help you live a healthier and happier lifestyle.
Posted on November 30, 2018
IFA is Europe’s largest consumer electronics show held annually in Berlin. This year, several appliance manufacturers premiered new technology that has the potential to be game-changing. One was German appliance manufacturer Miele, which introduced its Wi-Fi enabled Dialog oven. The Dialog oven uses electromagnetic waves (similar to microwave, but with vastly different results), traditional radiant heat from the top and bottom of the oven and a convection fan. As opposed to a conventional microwave, the Dialog oven’s electromagnetic waves are extremely precise. The Dialog oven uses the same technology used by physicians to keep organs at specific temperatures during transplants.
At IFA, Miele used its Dialog oven to cook a piece of cod that was embedded in a block of ice. The ice did not melt, but the fish was cooked perfectly. What may be most appealing about the Dialog oven is that it will enable anyone to cook meals perfectly at the touch of a button, even those who don’t like to cook or don’t believe they have the aptitude to prepare meals. The oven comes equipped with approximately 100 chef-tested recipes that are stored within the appliance. As the cod demonstration showed, the oven can cook different types of food simultaneously. This is because of Miele’s M Chef technology, featuring two question-mark-shaped sensors in the oven that give and receive frequencies that correspond to the molecules of food. With constant feedback from sensors, the oven can intuitively apply the correct electromagnetic waves to perfectly heat a rib roast, for instance, while also simultaneously adjusting and applying the right level of energy in order to perfectly cook the vegetable accoutrements next to it. Miele touts that the oven is able to “talk” to food – hence the name Dialog oven.
The Dialog cooks food 70 percent faster than a traditional oven. The Dialog oven will be unveiled first in Germany and Austria and is expected to make its way to North America sometime in 2019.
Miele is not the only appliance manufacturer developing cool new technology. At IFA, Sharp premiered a new refrigerator that has a vacuum sealer built into the door. AEG released its Wi-Fi enabled oven that has a camera built in the door that can identify different types of food and cook them automatically, using technology similar to face recognition software. This new oven is expected to come to market in 2019.
Samsung, LG and GE all offer appliances that can communicate with a smart phone or tablet.
Will a smart appliance make your life easier? Give us a call at 781-749-6777 and tell us about your project and how we can help!
Posted on November 26, 2018
For more than a century, almost every master and secondary bathroom in North American homes was outfitted with a tub shower. That’s not the case as we approach the third decade of the 21st century. Who wants to step over a tub to take a shower? That’s a question many hotel developers are answering by eliminating tubs altogether. Hilton’s Canopy brand has replaced the tub with a barrier-free, walk-in shower. Marriott also is foregoing tubs for walk-in showers at properties that are part of the brand’s Autograph Collection. Both hoteliers are not eliminating tubs completely, however. They are outfitting their suites with tubs to evoke a more luxurious feel and look to the space.
Do you need or want a tub? That’s a question we almost always ask our clients when they are renovating their bathrooms. When designing a bath, the overall goal is creating a room that offers the greatest amount of enjoyment in the least amount of space. Often my clients want to include a tub in their master bath because they think it’s necessary for resale. It’s common in the older homes of New England that the master bathrooms are on the small size so having a tub sometimes means having a relatively small shower. I always suggest to my clients that they consider skipping the tub to make room for a larger shower. Most chose this option because they realize the tub will sit mostly unused whereas the shower is part of their daily routine.
If there is room for a separate tub and a decent sized shower today’s free-standing tubs resemble works of sculpture that give a room a sense of luxury and good taste. Form is only one of the distinguishing features of today’s tubs. Tubs today can be equipped with spa-like jets and air systems or both that offer warm, circulating water to relax tired muscles, relieve aches and pains from overexertion, improve circulation and remove unhealthy toxins from your body. Additionally, properly designed hydro-massage systems provide a personalized
massage that invites repetitive use that enhances your health and well-being. You can outfit your tub with light therapy and aroma therapy that helps to recharge your batteries and reduce stress.
If resale is of concern, many of our clients elect to place tubs only in secondary baths in their home. There is a large slice of the population that want to see a free-standing or system bath in the master bath as well. Consider a tub in your master or secondary bath as comparable to a dining room or fireplace. They are great to have, but are not necessarily used every day.
Designing a dream bathroom that is a spa-like oasis that offers easy-to-use functionality involves choosing materials and finishes that create a warm feel and comfort to a room. Tubs often contribute to that aura. Do you want or need a tub in your master bath? Give us a call at 781-749-6777 and we can help you answer that question and create the bathroom of your dreams.
Posted on October 23, 2018
A well-designed bathroom should have the right kinds of storage to make the occupants’ lives easier. Because bathroom space is often limited, there is a greater premium on organizational tools. In master and secondary baths and even powder rooms, the vanity often does the heavy lifting for storage, and thanks to recent innovations, storage options have increased significantly.
When storage space is at a premium, vanities with open shelves create storage space for towels and baskets around drains, traps and other plumbing components. Open shelving is an extremely attractive option that can provide a visual focal point. Just keep in mind you’ll want to keep it styled which might take some work.
Shelves and roll out drawers maximize the space under and around plumbing in vanities with doors. Roll out drawers can hold baskets or be equipped with dividers for cosmetics, towels, brushes, etc. We can customize vanities with drawers and pull-out shelves that help to minimize loss of storage space caused by plumbing that flows through the vanity to the sink and faucets. We can also wire vanity drawers with outlets so your hair dryer or flat iron can be stored in a drawer and easily plugged in and ready to use.
And, let’s not forget about the handy storage in a medicine cabinet! The best ones are recessed into the wall between the studs and not mounted on the surface of the wall. I encourage my clients who are gutting their bathrooms to have the framing reworked while the walls are open. You never know when the need for storage might change and it’s cost prohibitive to add one in after the fact.
There are many kitchen storage solutions that can be adapted to the bath. For example, vertical pull outs are commonly used in kitchens for spices and can also be used to effectively store bath items in small slivers of space.
Toe kicks can make space along the floor functional for storing less commonly used items such as back up rolls of toilet tissue. Tip out trays behind the drawer head in front of the sink are handy. They can be used for storing tooth brushes, tooth paste, dental floss and other small items.
Outfitting drawers and storage space with adjustable compartments, reconfigurable bins, vertical dividers and spice racks (think small medicine bottles) provide endless opportunities to get great functionality out of a beautiful looking new bathroom.
We’d love to learn about your bath project! Give us a call at 781-749-6777 to make an appointment.
Posted on October 12, 2018
I wasn’t surprised to hear that the most popular kitchen layout among U.S. homeowners undertaking a renovation is L-shaped. According to a recent Houzz.com survey, nearly 50 percent of homeowners changed or plan to change the layout of their kitchen as part of their remodeling plan. U-shaped kitchens were the second most popular layout followed by a galley layout. As a kitchen designer it’s tempting to always start with the L-shape but I always prefer considering first if there’s any way to do something different to improve the storage, counter space and clearances for my clients. I must admit however that the L-shape or U-shape usually turns out to be the most efficient.
The Houzz survey also revealed that open floor plan kitchens are another significant trend among homeowners remodeling their kitchens. I definitely see this with pretty much every client I encounter. In fact, I don’t recall anyone coming in and saying, “Can you make my kitchen more closed off and isolated from the rest of the house?” The women on my team and I all agree that to open up the kitchen space to other parts of the home is our client’s most coveted design detail. The Houzz survey confirms this: more than 50 percent of homeowners opt for opening the kitchen to other living areas, while 18 percent choose to open their kitchen space to outdoor spaces.
The average size of a kitchen remodel was 230 square feet. A reported 40 percent of homeowners opted to increase the size of their kitchen as part of their remodel. The top priority among homeowners in the survey and among our clientele is to create a kitchen that is both stylish and beautiful. In addition, our clients want a look that is timeless and neutral and stands the test of time. That’s the number one reason why our clients depend on our decades of experience and our close connection to what’s trending and what works best. We know how to ask the right questions to determine wants, needs and dreams. And we really listen, take notes and implement what we hear into our design.
A well-designed kitchen is an organized kitchen. The greatest source of buyer’s remorse among our clients is overlooking storage and accessories that make the kitchen easier to use and more beautiful. The top built-in and specialty storage amenities specified for American kitchens according to the survey are as follows:
And last, but definitely not least, the survey found that the most popular style of a new kitchen renovation was transitional, followed by contemporary and farmhouse
We would love to meet you and hear about your dream kitchen! Give us a call at 781-749-6777 or email us at email@example.com.