As summer comes to an end, northerners are mourning the loss of the warmth and long days of summer. As for Floridians, our outdoor activities continue on, and in slightly cooler weather! Summers in Florida can get unbearable and your outdoor space may not have gotten as much use as you expected. Now that the temperature is moving to the cooler side, it’s the perfect time to invest in an outdoor kitchen. Think about it, less mosquitoes, more bonfires (for roasting marshmallows of course), and no one will judge you when you buy 5+ pumpkins to make your space festive — because it’s finally October! To get in the fall-festive spirit, here are 5 luxurious upgrades to enhance your outdoor kitchen.
One: Make outdoor life easier with a Pot Filler!
Your outdoor kitchen is meant to be just as convenient as your indoor kitchen and if the family is outside enjoying themselves, why should you be in the house cooking the pasta? Adding a pot filler to your outdoor kitchen will eliminate the muss and fuss of going back and forth between the kitchen and outdoor kitchen which allows you to be part of the outdoor fun with the family.
Two: Give your backyard BBQ an upgrade with a Smoker!
There is nothing better than barbecue especially when you have the delicious smell overtaking your backyard. A smoker makes all the difference in every family gathering from a college football party to Wednesday night family dinner, especially in the fall!
Three: Sizzle things up with a Fire pit!
I know what you’re thinking, “A fire pit in Florida? Really?”, yes really!! Not only is a fire pit a cozy source of heat during cold snaps, there is one delicious treat that is fitting for all year round celebrations, s’mores of course!
Four: A PIZZA OVEN!!
Does this one even need an explanation? It’s pizza! But seriously, a pizza oven won’t only make you and your family happy campers, but if you ever decide to put your house on the market, pizza ovens will earn great selling points!
Five: Fall, Oktoberfest, and a Beer Tap!
When many think of the fall months, beer is one of the season’s greatest pleasures (along with pumpkin spice lattes) that immediately come to mind. Make your backyard the place to be this fall and all year round by adding a beer tap to your outdoor kitchen.
Two other stylish and functional upgrades that you can add to your backyard oasis are televisions to watch the big college game (while enjoying homemade pizza) and under counter lighting! Like under cabinet lighting, you’ll be able to see what you’re cooking and they’ll light your way to the table.
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Your kitchen backsplash is like the frosting to your kitchen. Without the backsplash, your kitchen is like a cake without frosting (like a naked cake, but those are actually popular right now). It can get so overwhelming, there are so many options! How can one choose only one?
Here are 6 things to consider before selecting a backsplash:
1) What type of look are you going for? Do you see your kitchen with more color or neutral tones? Yes, color makes a big statement in your kitchen, but will you love that shade of teal forever? Going with a more neutral color allows you to play with color in other ways in your kitchen.
2) Next, think about height. The height is often a detail that is overlooked. Often, cabinetry is a deciding factor for the height, but you may have the option to go up to ceiling height around your sink or cook top area.
3) Here’s the next fun part! Just as important as color is the type of tile you use! There are so many options such as, glass tile, ceramic, brick, and hand painted tile. Glass tile has a shiny gloss to it and will make a big statement in any kitchen. Ceramic tile is made from clay and is permanently hardened by heat. Bricks are rectangular blocks of clay dried by the sun. For a more historical look, research any old buildings that are being demolished and often you can pay to save those bricks. Hand painted tiles are just as they sound, and could run the most expensive depending on which part of the world you purchase them from. The materials you use all depend on the style of your kitchen and the look you are aiming for, but all are beautiful options.
4) Consider your counter tops! This one seems like a no brainer, but some may get so caught up in the specific color they want that they forget their countertops. If you have a natural stone with many veins and speckles, chose a backsplash that will complement the stone with more neutral tones.
5) Next, it is time to think about the shape and pattern! If you are going for more of a classic look, stick with horizontal or vertical lines. If you want something a little more unique, try a shape/pattern that is new and daring in a neutral tone so you have the best of both worlds!
6) Lastly, what to consider before pulling the trigger on your dream backsplash, your budget. If you have a budget on the tighter end, consider getting tile that is in stock. Keep in mind that certain glazes and specialty shapes will cost a bit more. The best thing about backsplashes are that there are thousands of them, so you are surely to find one that works best in your kitchen!
Award- winning interior designer, Tricia Guy has many years of experience selecting lighting for hundreds of projects, all unique in personal style and lifestyle needs. Tricia knows that there are thousands of lighting options and fun added upgrades, so here are a few tips to make the biggest impact on your space.
Play with Color
Selecting the right light color will set the proper feeling to your space. If you love the look and feeling of natural light, than daylight is for you. Daylight provides the incomparable feeling of being outside, enjoying the natural light given off the sun. On the other side of the spectrum, warm white light gives the feeling of cuddling up to a warm fire on a winter night. Warm light embodies yellow tones for a warm and comfortable feeling. If you desire a more modern and contemporary feeling, cool white lighting is the best option for you! Finally, for some extra-added spice, add a pop of color to your kitchen, bar, bathroom or entertainment center. When it comes to adding some fun colors to make a room more interesting, the world is your color wheel!
Get Creative with Location
There are many places to add light to enhance any room such as, up lighting and down lighting to give a subtle glow your space. When you sneak out to the kitchen for a midnight snack, toe kick lighting is perfect option to add to your kitchen and even your bathroom. Under cabinet lighting is another essential for your kitchen because it provides the light you need when you’re preparing a meal. Also, under cabinet lighting gives your kitchen a lovely glow at night. Lastly, decorative lighting is one of the best ways to add personality to any room. One suggestion is to designate an outlet in your kitchen for a decorative lamp to show off your personal style (no one wants to see those pesky wires).
Setting the Mood
The best of occasions can lack some luster if your space does not create the right mood. The mood in a room sets the tone for a party full of people or a romantic evening for two. One of the best features you can add to your lights is to make them dimmable. Dimming your lights will able you to create the right mood and setting for any occasion.
Painted wood doors for your kitchen cabinets are a popular option. Many people believe they look more professional and are worth the added expense. However, a good kitchen designer in Florida will tell you that 5-piece painted MDF doors (made with a 4-piece frame and a center panel) will be much better for your home. Here are three reasons to invest in painted MDF today.
No Cracked Seams
The humidity in Florida is unlike many other places in the United States. Painted wood may be fine for your family in the northwest, but in Florida the wood starts to expand and contract with the high humidity. Paint does not expand with added humidity, which leads to cracking of the seams over time. The number one benefit of a 5-piece MDF door is that it does not expand or contract with changes in the weather, meaning there is little risk of the seams cracking.
Your kitchen cabinets are likely to be hit with pots and pans or even children on ride-on toys. These little dings can lead to damage with wood fronts. High grade MDF is very dense which means that it can handle more of a beating than a basic wood door, which means your doors will look better for much longer.
They look the same
Technology has advanced considerably over the years, and that is certainly the case when creating 5-piece painted MDF doors. Previously, only one piece or routed MDF painted doors were available. On the front side of the door, these looked pretty close to a wood door, but on the back it was very noticeably not a wood door. With the advancement in glues and resins, it is now possible to make your MDF doors look exactly like 5-piece wood doors. Additionally, all of our cabinet manufacturers making these MDF doors are giving the exact same warranty as their wood doors.
Your kitchen cabinets will have the advantages listed above and your friends will never know the difference! In fact, they’ll want to know who your kitchen designer is so they can get their own amazing kitchen.
By Brian McKenzie
Living in Florida has many perks. A beach is never far away and sunshine 364 days a years (on average). However, there are a few things that come along with our beautiful weather. When it rains, it rains, and we have very high humidity. We are going to review a couple of cabinet solutions that deal with our specific weather in Florida.
The kitchen is arguably the most important room in your house. So it makes sense to protect that investment and your cabinets. The first solution is to use adjustable legs on your cabinets. When choosing your cabinet box construction, most people go with plywood. Though it’s more expensive, it isn’t effected by water quite as much as furniture board. No matter what, with wood, water will cause expanding, stability issues, and mold. With choosing the adjustable legs, you can use the more affordable furniture board and just have a plywood sink base. The legs will protect the cabinets up to 4 – 4 1/2 inches of water. The look of the cabinet is the same and if you do encounter a flood under the 4 inch mark, just replace the toe kick and any decorative base boards. That’s a much easier task than replacing all of your cabinets.
Another solution we suggest is painted medium density fiberboard (MDF) cabinet fronts. Humidity is definitely an issue in Florida and painted MDF fronts are a great way to combat that. With the popularity of painted finishes these days, they look almost identical to wood doors and have really become a great option. MDF is a high grade, composite material that is more stable than solid wood and is unaffected by changes in heat and humidity. Solid wood boards typically expand and contract both horizontally and vertically which leads to cracking in the seams of the door. Because it’s made from one piece there is no long term cracking or seam separation. Painted MDF is actually a little less expensive than solid wood and usually carries the exact same warranty.
When designing your new kitchen it would be wise to consider our solutions, so that you can significantly lower the time spent on the repair and your frustration level. With any home renovation comes stress for financial reason and just the hassle of it. If bad luck does strike you and you end up being one of the unlucky few that falls victim to the fickle Florida weather, wouldn’t it be nice to know you’ve chosen the best option at protecting your home?