10 Ways to Add a Splash of Color to Your Kitchen

Do you want to brighten up your kitchen? Adding some color is a great way to do this. Here are some great suggestions that you can implement in your own kitchen. 
  1. Accent doors- Having two different colors for your cabinets allows you to add a pop of color. You can make a few of your cabinets, like a row of uppers, have a colorful door and then it adds an intriguing pop of color to your kitchen.
  2. Wallpaper- Instead of using tile or paint for wall finishes in your kitchen, wallpaper is a great alternative. Using wallpaper(make sure its wet-space-safe) allows for a fun wall pattern or color in your kitchen. It can either be an accent or an all-over treatment.
  3. Wall Paint- You can also add an accent wall really easily with wall paint. This is great for a wall without cabinets or if you want a small bold color you can add it on a wall with cabinets and the cabinets will break the color up.
  4. Counter and bar stools- Feel free to use these as a way to get creative with adding colors. the stools around the counter are a great place to put a pop of color right in the center of your space. 
  5. Pendant lightening- Small glass pendant lights are now great sources of light because of the power of LED lights. They also are a great way to add a splash of color without being right in your face. 
  6. Open Shelving- Open shelves allow your kitchen to be part of your decor since it makes your kitchen supplies and tools viewable at all times. Also just having a few opens up your space to pops of colors because of the different hues from pots and supplies. 
  7. Color changing LEDs - These lights allow for you to add a variety of color accents to your kitchen without the permanence of paint. You get to change the colors whenever you want for different events and more. 
  8. Glass accents -  Translucent or frosted glass objects are really nice for kitchens because of the way that light reflects off the surface of them. These can be any different types of objects that you place around your kitchen.
  9. Warm Metallics - Warm metallics like Brass and Gold work really well in spaces that don’t have much color but they still add a sense of warmth and color to your space. They also work really well with stainless steel and other cooler metals. 
  10. Window Treatments - Window Treatments are pretty normal for more traditional spaces however they are great for modern spaces as well. Having an in window shade allows an opportunity to add a color or pattern to your kitchen. 

The Best Kitchen Countertop Materials

Shopping for countertops can feel very overwhelming since there are hundreds of colors, patterns, and textures. However, there are really only a few basic categories of materials for countertops that you should know. Let's break down the pros and cons as well as the important information to know for each type of countertop.

First off, when choosing a counter material you need to think about your needs and habits in the kitchen.  For example, if you cook a lot and do prep on the countertop, you don't want to use a soft porous material. You also have to consider your overall kitchen design. You want to make sure the counters fit with the appliances, the backsplash as well as the cabinets in your kitchen.

Natural Stone

Granite: This is a very common and popular material for a countertop since it comes in a variety of colors. The colors offered range from vibrant reds and blues, midnight black, as wells as white.

Pros - no (or low) visible seams, durable surface, heat-resistant

Cons - must be sealed to resist heat as well as can be expensive

Marble: This is a softer stone and more high end then granite. It is also comes in much fewer colors. However it is great surface for baking but since it is softer might show knife scars or be discolored by citric acid.   

Pros - durable, striking natural patterns

Cons - high-maintenance, needs repeated sealing, expensive

Soapstone

pros - won't need sealing

cons - soft and may show knife marks

Slate

pros - won't need sealing

cons - brittle especially at corners

 

Engineered Stone

Quartz : This is stone is what most engineered stone is made out of. It comes it lots of different colors and is a hard material so it doesn't need any sealing

pros - no sealing, durable, low maitenance

cons - expensive 

Concrete

 

Precast: These concrete slabs are extremely smooth and flat. These countertops can also have a variety of colors as well as have glass or other materials embedded in to give it an artistic feel. 

pros - won't scratch, durable, heat resistant

cons - must be professionally installed, expensive, needs sealing

Solid surfaces

Acrylic or Polyester: These counters show no seems since the pieces get fused together. This is great for long stretches of countertop. You can also get sinks to match

pros - low maitenance, lots of colors, repairable, non-porous

cons - not heat resistant, shows knife marks and scratches

Plastic Laminates

pros - very affordable, durable and hardwearing, ready-to-install,

cons - not heat resistant,  can chip or scratch

Tile

Ceramic or Stone:  Lots of color options and many different styles. Has to be applied over laminate or fresh plywood topped with cement backerboard. 

pros - lots of colors,  affordable, lots of choices,  ceramic is non porous

cons - regular grout cleaning is necessary

Wood

Edge-Grain: These counters have long, thick strips of wood that are glued together with the edge grain facing up

End-Grain (aka Butcher Block): These counters have relatively short, square sticks of wood that are joined together with the tough end grain facing up

Wide-Plank: These counters are made by edge-gluing wide boards together. These counters are the most susceptible to warping and cracking.

pros to wood - warm, ideal work surface, heat resistant

cons to wood- medium maintenance, will show knife marks

10 Design Tips for Small Bathrooms

In apartments, especially in NYC, often times the bathroom is small. Homeowners often imagine that remodeling a small bathroom—one that is about 50 square feet or less—will be much quicker, much easier, and much less expensive than remodeling a large bathroom. Designing a small bathroom so that you have the optimal amount of space for every appliance while also maintaining storage and space for yourself provides a challenge and often times it's only a little bit quicker, a little bit easier, and a little bit less expensive than a larger bathroom.

However, there are a few design tricks that if you remember while you are planning it will make the process easier.

1. Use a corner sink. In very small bathrooms, a sink configured to fit in a corner can be a great space-saving option. Even pedestal sinks can be difficult to fit in very small bathrooms.

2. Use a shower curtain or sliding shower door. Shower doors that pivot on hinges may not work for small bathrooms. Instead, use a shower curtain or glass shower door that slides on tracks.

3. Choose a vanity with rounded corners. In tight spaces, vanities with sharp corners can be hazardous. A vanity with rounded corners can prevent bruised hips.

4. Extend the counter over the toilet. A little extra counter space created when the vanity counter extends over the adjacent toilet can be surprisingly effective.

5. Use large-scale patterns. Large squares, wide stripes, and other large patterns can fool the eye and make spaces seem larger.

6. Mirror the wall. In tight spaces, having a mirror occupy the entire wall behind the vanity can help two people to use it at once.

7. Mount the towel bar on the door. When space is limited, mounting a towel bar on the shower door or the back of the entry door keeps towels at easy reach.

8. Choose a trough sink. When mounted on a wall, the low profile of a trough sink frees up floor space for storage.

9. Use a vanity with open shelves. Open shelves offer storage without swinging doors that can get in the way in a small bathroom.

10. Use a wall-mounted faucet. Mounting a faucet on the wall allows for a smaller vanity, which helps free up space in a small bathroom.
By following these design tips your small bathroom will not only have all the appliances that you need but will also maintain storage and space for yourself.