The Habits of Home: Energy Savings

Here are some staggering statistics about just how much energy the average household uses and how seemingly simple changes can make a big difference on your electric bill. This infographic breaks it down, room by room.the-habits-of-home--interacting-with-your-energy

10 Things You Didn’t Think Would Fit in a Small Kitchen

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 12.32.29 PMDon’t assume you have to do without those windows, that island, a home office space, your prized collections or an eat-in nook

I am learning so much by checking out Houzz photos from all over the world. For instance, I’d forgotten just how many European families get by with what we Americans would consider “a dorm room fridge.” Rather than stocking up on a decade’s worth of pretzels and cereal at Costco, a lot of Europeans pick up just 24 hours’ worth of fresh food at a time. This is why we’re seeing so many stylish small kitchens submitted to Houzz from across the pond — a double-size refrigerator and a walk-in pantry are of no use to most people over there.

Of course, plenty of Americans also have small kitchens. We’re just so used to seeing kitchen spaces larger than our entire homes that we don’t realize we can incorporate some of their great features into our modest nooks and galleys. You might not realize you have room to chop to your heart’s content, include an eat-in space or even set up a home office. Check out these 10 small-kitchen extras for inspiration.

How to Create Better Flow in Your Home

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 12.30.27 PMLearn how much room to allow for furniture, and tricks you can use to make the most of a tight space

Someone once said that a well-designed space is like a good pair of shoes: If you’re wearing a good pair of shoes, you don’t even notice that you have them on your feet. But if you’re wearing a bad pair of shoes, you notice them every step of the way. Interiors work the same way.

If you haven’t considered the circulation space around your furniture, cupboards and built-ins, you will feel it with every step you take. You’ve probably encountered poor room circulation at some point: bumping into corners while walking around furniture, dinner guests standing up to let others slide through, stepping sideways to get to your toilet, not being able to open your doors all the way. If any of these situations exist in your own home, it’s a pretty easy fix. Here are some ways to achieve better flow in your space.

Kitchen Renovation Facts


How Much Room Do You Need for a Kitchen Island?

island thumbInstalling an island can enhance your kitchen in many ways, and, with good planning, even smaller kitchens can benefit

Kitchen islands are a much-sought-after feature — almost nine out of 10 of our kitchen design and installation firm’s clients ask about them in their first design meeting. A well-planned island layout can allow a smooth workflow and provide a comfortable space for preparing and cooking food. Islands also frequently provide space for dining, working and storage.

But while a well-planned layout offers much enjoyment, a poorly planned island can be frustrating. This is particularly true if there is insufficient space for an island to begin with. If you’re considering a kitchen island, follow these tips to help you decide whether you have enough space to make an island work for you. And if you don’t, discover what else you can try.

How to Keep Your Stainless Steel Clean

stainlessProtect this popular kitchen material with a consistent but gentle cleaning routine

For the past few years, designers have debated whether or not stainless steel will continue to reign supreme in kitchens across America or lose its popularity to glossy black or white appliances boasting sleek, smooth finishes.

While the trendsetters debate, however, millions of us continue to choose to live with the commercially cool look and functionality of stainless steel. Whether you have a little or a lot of the shiny stuff, here’s what experts suggest we do about those fingerprints, and how to care for and clean one of the hardest-working surfaces in the house.

7 Rules for Organizing Small Spaces


How to Color-Block With Confidence in the Kitchen

Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 5.00.58 PMMaster the art of color-blocking in your cooking and dining area by following these foolproof design tricks

Color-blocking is a popular fashion trend that has been a firm favorite with designers and fashion lovers over the past several years. Although it’s taken a little longer for the high-impact look to filter down into the interiors world, the technique is now being embraced by many design professionals and home decorators, too, especially in the kitchen, as a way to liven up a neutral scheme and help a space stand out. Take a look at the color-blocking cheat sheet that we’ve compiled for you below.

How to Clean Your Fridge, Inside and Out

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 12.03.44 PMKeep your refrigerator clean and fresh, while you gain storage space and and lose those ‘UFOs’

Until you find your kitchen invaded by a UFO (Unidentified Foul Odor), it’s easy to take a clean-smelling fridge for granted. But the perks of keeping one of the hardest-working home appliances in top shape go beyond eliminating unwanted “science projects” and unsavory smells.

“There are many reasons a refrigerator needs to be kept clean,” says Meg Roberts, president of housekeeping service Molly Maid. “A clean refrigerator can keep food fresh for a longer period of time. Due to the moisture in the fridge, cross contamination can easily occur, so it’s necessary to take precautions. Plus, a stuffed fridge means some items are hidden away, causing food to go to waste.”

Bottom line: A clean refrigerator not only looks and smells better, it will also function more efficiently and can ultimately save you money. Here’s how.