Thursday, November 19, 2015

5 Trendy Kitchen Design Tips

5 Trendy Kitchen Design Tips

HomeAdvisor offers up their hottest trend tips for the kitchen.
Guest Post by HomeAdvisor
Looking to put your kitchen on point with the latest trends? Here’s how to incorporate what’s hot right now into an enduring design that will never go out of style.
#1 Give in to grey
If you want to update your kitchen’s color, consider going grey. Designers have noted that grey is racing toward the top spot for kitchen design color, especially when mixed with white or black. Grey is great for cabinets and shelving, in particular, because it complements the color of many plates and glasses — and it’s also less likely to show scratches and dents than other colors. If your cabinets are in good shape, consider talking to a painter about painting them grey.
#2 Focus on function
Your kitchen should always be functional — and these days, there are a number of innovations available to help increase efficiency. Cabinet designers have revolutionized cabinets and with the introduction of soft-close and button-activated drawers and doors, for example, which minimize wear and tear. And there are a number of pull-outs, inserts and hideaways sure to make any homeowners life a lot easier. If you’re interested in updating your cabinets, consult a professional to see what’s possible.
#3 Embrace tech
No modern kitchen is complete without some form of tech gadgetry. Install only what you’ll actually use — and what you can actually afford. Some options include:
  • Energy-saving, sensor-activated lights
  • Meat thermometers that plug into your smartphone
  • Hands-free faucets
  • A digital counter to keep track of how long food’s been open
  • Smart countertops that can measure the weight of food
  • Bluetooth-enabled frying pans
  • Remote-controlled crock pots
#4 Go with the flow
Your house has a flow; the rooms are designed to integrate into one another — dining room, living room, etc. Keep the integration of your kitchen in mind when you’re designing, and achieve a flowing aesthetic with:
  • Appliances that blend with cabinets or shelving
  • Books, vases, servingware and other pieces complementary to those in other rooms.
  • A color scheme that extends or balances the colors used throughout the rest of the house.
#5 Maximize your space
Everything in your kitchen should have and do a job. Storage should be sleek and efficient, making the most of every nook and cranny. If your cabinets aren’t performing at their peak, consider reorganizing them. You might also consider replacing some of your upper cabinets with open shelves — a growing trend that can either help or hinder in the efficiency department. If you need help designing an efficient kitchen, we recommend consulting with a designer.
Andrea Davis is the editor at HomeAdvisor, which connects homeowners with home improvement professionals in their area for free. Connect with Andrea on Google+

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Your Home’s November Honey-Do List

Prep your home for the holidays and cooler weather with this list of home to dos that you’ll be especially thankful for.



This month, we’re especially thankful for home. Home is where the family comes together, where we’re protected from the elements, and where love abounds. Your home’s November Honey-Do list will make sure your home is ready for the holidays, prepared for colder weather and loved inside and out.
1. Winterize your home – For most of the country, November is the time when we can no longer deny that the colder weather has settled in. Now is the time to winterize summer tools and appliances like air conditioner units, grills and lawn mowers. Bring garden hoses indoors and check your windows and doors for drafts.
2. Make a Turkey Game Plan – No coach would head to a big game without a game plan up his sleeve. Likewise, no chef should hit the kitchen without thinking through the menu and timeline first. Determine what menu items you can make ahead, decide what responsibilities you can delegate, and take an inventory of your pantry and china cabinet. Oh, and now’s the time to clean that oven, too.
3. Polish the Silver and Dust off the China – Thanksgiving is a special meal, which deserves the best of your entertaining arsenal. Because we don’t often use our special dishes year round, it’s smart to give them a good deep clean and polish before setting the table on Turkey Day.
4. Give your living room a refresh – With the holidays ahead, your living room is sure to get plenty of use. Give the space a refresh by changing out the window treatments for a new look.
5. Use some pest control – Rodents and other pests are opportunistic and seek warmer environments when the temperatures drop. Be sure that they don’t call your house their home by implementing these 5 surefire tricks to pest control.
6. Clear out the gutters – Avoid drainage problems and damage to your home’s foundation by clearing out the gutters before snow and ice wreaks havoc. Here is an easy how-to guide to cleaning rain gutters on your home.
7. Be ready for snow – Before the first winter storm, it’s a good idea to make sure your snow shovels and/or snow blower are in proper working order. Ready to invest in a snow blower after the brutal winter last year? Here is a buying guide from Home Depot that will help you make an educated purchase.
8. Start tackling the December to do list – The holiday to do list is notoriously the longest of the year. Get a head start by ordering your holiday cards, updating your address book, and making a gift wish list for each of your family members NOW. You can even start stringing twinkle lights on your shrubbery before the deep chill sets in. After all, the most important part of the holidays is taking the time to enjoy our family and friends.
Next month we’ll cover everything you’ll need to know to make your home holiday ready.  Until then, Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Fall Entertaining Ideas You Won’t Want to Miss

Fall Entertaining Ideas You Won’t Want to Miss

Fall is a fun, festive time of year in North Texas. This is the time of year to gather with friends and family, so make your home festive and welcoming. Try out some these fall entertaining ideas to make the most of the season ahead.
With autumn in full swing, it helps to have a few fall entertaining ideas up your sleeve. This is the time of year to gather with friends and family, so make your home festive and welcoming. Whether you want to throw an elaborate fall harvest party in your DFW home, or you’re looking to do something a little more low-key, we have you covered with some fun ideas fit for the season ahead.
Play Up the Pumpkins
‘Tis the season for pumpkins galore, so embrace them as you plan your fall entertaining ideas. One clever way to work these orange orbs into a fall party is to hollow them out and use them as serving bowls. They’re the perfect containers for poppable snacks such as trail mix or chips. To really add some seasonal style, set the pumpkin atop a bed of twigs and fall berries. Check out Hall’s Pumpkin Farm in the heart of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex to load up on pumpkins of all sizes.
Bring On the Hay
Here’s an easy way to add some Texas flair to your fall party: Use bales of hay as outdoor seating. Guests will love the homey feel they bring, and your fall-themed fiesta will score extra points for having some real downhome charm. Arrange your hay-bale seating in a circle or around a focal point in your backyard, such as a fire pit or a tree strung with lights.
Embrace Fall Foliage
When leaves turn rust red or vibrant orange, incorporate them into your decor. String them across your fireplace mantel using rustic twine, or wrap them around silverware at your table’s place settings. Another idea is to write guests’ names on large leaves using a silver marker. Set them atop plates as perfect-for-fall place settings.
Don’t Forget the Fun and Games
Make some memories at your harvest party by organizing some fall-specific activities. You could have a station where guests bob for apples and then an area for them to decorate their own caramel apples. They might be good enough to rival those from local favorite, Jim and Lor’s Candy Store. Another clever idea is to set up a “bowling between the bales” activity. If you’re already hauling some bales of hay into your backyard, get double the use by using them for seating and games.
Fall is a fun, festive time of year, and in North Texas, it’s a great time to invite friends over to your home. Try out some of these fall entertaining ideas to make the most of the season ahead.
Image Source: Flickr/HomeSpot HQ