Is The Kitchen Work Triangle Effective?

Granite island and perimeter surfaces

Create a snack zone prep area between major appliances. This usually involves a micro & refrigerator nearby.

Since most homeowners now admit there is more than one person working in the kitchen, the inefficiency of a basic “work triangle” (sink, fridge, stove) is rather obvious. Where do you put an army of small appliances and still keep adequate counter space? Balancing the choices of large appliances is also a challenge since the goal is to accomplish a floor plan that doesn’t seem “forced”. Here is a small quick list of pet peeves (more politely called design challenges) that I see out there in all different kinds of kitchen spaces. Try to avoid these.

1- A giant microwave over the range or on the counter

2- A dishwasher trapped in the corner/fridge up against wall

3- A refrigerator that is too deep and sticks out into the room

Another negative that you may want to avoid …… anything that cannot be wiped down with a sponge doesn’t belong in a kitchen.

The best kitchen is an uncluttered kitchen, no matter what your style choice is, and creating “work zones” rather than a strict triangle. Here are a few that I like:

A) Snack zone or nook

B) Mail drop

C) Electronic device charging station

D) Two prep zones

E) Medicinal/vitamin separate storage

D) Cooking zone properly scaled for the space

E) Smaller appliances zone created with cabinetry

Do You Need To Replace Your Lighting To LED?

Darker Countertops Require Good Lighting

Darker Countertops Require Good Lighting

Do you need to replace your bulbs to LED? Not necessarily, but eventually:)

Most of us will still be confused in the lighting aisle, where you can still purchase halogen bulbs because of the low price and  these bulbs “feel” like the old incandescents …. yet halogen bulbs are still only approx. 25 percent more efficient which is just enough to meet the EISA standards set.

LED lights are truly getting better and more exciting. (Can you tell I’m the daughter of a life-long electrician?) Because LED lights are so efficient, they will take a VERY long time before you’ll need to replace. I like that concept! According to Popular Mechanics, “Replacing a 60-watt incandescent with an LED equivalent will save you $130 in energy costs over the new bulb’s lifetime. The average American household could slash $150 from its annual energy bill by replacing all incandescents with LED bulbs.”

Here’s more info:

-LED lights are dimmable

-LED lights are getting “warmer” in color tone (LED’s now have CRI’s in the 80’s….Color Rendering Index)

-LED lights are getting cheaper to buy (manufacturers are more efficient in producing LED’s and demand is high)

Replacing certain kinds of older fixtures and housings take a bit of research and “trying on” lightbulbs can be a chore, but in the end, an updated look is achieved and the energy savings will be realized.

Have a great summer!

Four Ways To Update Your Kitchen in 2015

Transitional Style in the Kitchen includes color and eclectic lampshade island lightsing.

  • LED tape lights are the latest to add to highlite just about any place in the kitchen. With up to 50,000 of lifespan and low heat output makes LED tape my choice for lighting underneath wall cabinets, or underneath the toekick space. Applying this “tape” to the sides of cabinets with glass doors or above crown molding to reflect light off the ceiling is easy and modern. This professional modular lighting system features a variety of control options. A few manufacturers of LED tape include JESCO, Juno Lighting and Nora Lighting. They also carry LED puck lights.
  • INDUCTION cooktops have incredible instant response. Induction is the best cooking technology on the market. From instant simmering to a high setting for bringing to boil any liquids to an extremely low “melt” setting on many models makes cooking enjoyable. The worktop surface stays relatively cool since it’s magnetic technology. Induction cooking also eliminates the need to use a powerful hood vent. Heat is transferred only to the cooking vessel.Check out Wolf’s induction cooktop in various sizes with 4 or 5 burners.
  • TRANSITIONAL KITCHEN DESIGN is strong in interior design and with good reason. This style has been made popular by homeowners who are trending toward a simpler way of life, or homeowners who still respect and enjoy the familiar traditional looks in furnishings but desire a fresh take on kitchen design with less clutter, clean lines and modern innovative appliances. It’s easy to respect the architectural style of a house and decorate in a transitional style. In kitchens selections include simple door styles, smooth painted or stained finishes which include new gray colors and more modern styled faucets with stainless, nickel and black finishes. Even a vintage piece or flea-market find can be used in a contemporary updated transitional kitchen. Studio 76 Kitchens and Baths blog includes additional information on this kitchen style.
  • EARTHY COLORS for cabinetry is the approach for updated kitchen design, including mixing white paint or black accented islands or upper wall cabinets for effect.Pops of color in frames of cabinets or colorful walls add the interest in kitchen design. Sherwin Williams Color Visualizer or ColorSnap app are great tools to use for deciding what looks the best when painting kitchen walls. Medallion Cabinetry now offers new stains and paints that lend to current design trends in kitchens. Expand your culinary skills, entertain and enjoy an updated kitchen!

Getting into Essential Oils

I’m going to try a few…especially heard about Thieves which sounds funny, but works well. Thanks for this post.

Ethan & Emilie

When I don’t sleep enough, I get headaches.  If I don’t drink enough water, I get headaches. When I’m stressed, I get headaches.  When I worry about getting a headache, I get a headache.

I’ve had a couple migraines in my life, and now that I know I get them, I fear them.  A headache will bring the possibility of a migraine, and I just don’t want to chance it.  However, I don’t want to pop pills at the earliest onset of a headache every time.  That is a lot of pills!  But I do not want to let it slip from a mild headache to a pounding, sight reducing, nauseating migraine… so I started looking into these essential oils.

Several of my friends have been using oils with great success for numerous things from acne to pms, cleaning to sleeping, indigestion to colds.  So I did a little…

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10 Healthy Kitchen Remodeling Decisions

Cleaning the Air shown is a GE Monogram Hood w/blower

Cleaning the Air shown is a GE Monogram Hood w/blower

1-CLEAN UP YOUR INDOOR AIR. You’d be surprised by the amount of air pollution in the home. When you remodel the kitchen, please choose to ventilate. Hire an experienced tradesman to run and route the venting to the outside. Check the power and specs for the hood or vent that you select. One of the brands I’ve had experience with through the years is Best by Broan. Here is what their site indicates “

2-ELECTRIC COOKTOPS. Both electric and gas cooking offers pros and cons. I prefer electric cooking for a healtheir kitchen environment. Gas burners can add up to 30% indoor nitrogen dioxide concentrations, depending on how cooking usage. It seems a better idea to me not to have an open flame. However, I am an electric cooktop “fan” of the higher end brands such as Wolf electric or induction because of the responsiveness and the flatness and dispersion of heat to the cooking vessel.

3-HEALTHY CABINETS. Yes, there really is such a thing …. but only in the last 10 years have manufacturers made it a priority to build cabinets with no added urea formaldehyde, which is now a known carcinogen. These manufacturers have complied with the newer CARB laws and you will find little “off-gassing” or odors of the new cabinets.Some of the brands that I like are Medallion, Mouser, and Neff Kitchen cabinets.

4-PAINT WALLS WITH A LOW VOC PAINT. What you are after, for a healthier home, is NO formaldehydes or toxic materials. All the better paint brands have a plethora of paint and stain products. Check out Sherwin-Williams

5-INSTALL A SANITARY COUNTERTOP. Or at least do some research …. since there is no “perfect” countertop as yet, some of my choices for non-porous, acid-resistant surfaces include engineered quartz (ie.Cambria, Dupont’s, Caesarstone,) and soapstone as a natural surface that resists acids and alkalis and does not require chemical sealing

6-INSTALL THE LATEST CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS. In the kitchen area and according to your city’s code. The brand First Alert has a good selection, some with detection for all types of gasses including methane and propane. I’m planning on installing a new detector in my own kitchen with the digital readout.

7-GET A RADON TEST. Since radon is a known carcinogen, and it’s easy to get a certified radon inspection …. this is a “no-brainer” for a homeowner who wants a healthier environment in their kitchen and entire home. Read more about radon in this website

8-CLEAN YOUR KITCHEN SAFELY. What I can control, is the cleaning products that I use in my kitchen …. and basically recommend anything WITHOUT an odor, that is non-toxic and non-flammable. Currently, I’m using the Vivesan brand of natural cleaning products which are 100% plant-based, odorless, carcinogen-free and made in the USA.

9-HANDS-FREE PRODUCTS. Not spreading germs and bacteria is on everyone’s mind lately, and cooking with raw foods is a day-to-day routine, so the new faucets that have motion sensors are great for those of us who like to cook. Check out Moen faucets new line at Another area of bacteria is the trash, and itouchless hands-free trashcans with carbon-filter technology are great product choices for germ control in the kitchen.

10-MICROBAN TECHNOLOGY CHOICES. From appliances to grout, this is an antimicrobial that works at the cellular lever and according to their website ( inhibits bacteria, mold and mildew. Appliance housings may look clean and shiny, but they can have bacteria build-up. Many refrigerators now offer Microban technology. Grout is famous for bacteria and mold build-up … look for grouts with added Microban technology. Prevention is key.

All of this sounds a bit overwhelming, even to me! You can’t always control what comes into your kitchen, but making healthier decisions when updating your kitchen or remodeling your kitchen can help to provide some peace of mind.


7 Ways to Add Color in Kitchens

Putting colorful accent bowls all over your kitchen for color!

Putting colorful accent bowls all over your kitchen for color!

New Tiled Backsplash in a herringbone pattern adds fresh color to the cooking wall in the kitchen.

New Tiled Backsplash in a herringbone pattern adds fresh color to the cooking wall in the kitchen.

Stenciled flooring for tone on tone textured hardwood floor in the kitchen.

Glass doors are perfect to view colorful dishware.

Glass doors are perfect to view colorful dishware.

A new granite stone countertop choice!

A new granite stone countertop choice!


Accent rug for pop of color to a neutral floor

Accent rug for pop of color to a neutral floor


Bold colors can offset stainless...and creates interest with a neutral kitchen

Bold colors can offset stainless…and creates interest with a neutral kitchen

These are some of the interesting things you can do (other than painting a bold color on the walls) for adding some additional color and texture in your kitchen. Brighten up your kitchen with color and interesting design details.
Have a bright summer!