The kitchen is the most important room in the home because it serves as a central hub for cooking, dining, entertaining, chatting, bill paying, internet-surfing, homework, etc. As the central hub and most used room in most homes, it is also the room that needs cleaning most often.
We always ask our clients how they plan to use their new kitchen and how often they prepare meals and entertain. We want to know if anyone in the home truly enjoys cooking and if there are any “foodies” or bakers in the family. This helps us gain an understanding of how the kitchen will function and how often it will need cleaning.
Many homeowners in Michiana are dazzled by smart appliances, quartz and stone countertops, custom cabinetry, statement-making backsplashes, signature lighting, hands-free faucets, and jewelry-like hardware. But, they rarely consider how difficult or easy it is to clean and maintain these dazzling products. Our experienced kitchen designers can direct you to the products that are both attractive and easy to clean.
Homeowners who don’t want to spend a lot of time cleaning their new kitchens should consider appliance surfaces that do not require special cleaning solutions. When looking at ranges, focus on the knobs to determine if there are areas where grease and foodstuffs can get lodged. Consider the spacing. Can you easily use a microfiber between knobs? If not, that range may not be the best choice for your new kitchen. Many of our clients who are avid cooks are attracted to induction cooktops because they are easy to clean and use.
Finishes also need to be considered. Stainless steel appliances are most popular for good reason. They are durable, complement almost any type of cabinet style and color and have long-term staying power. The downside to stainless steel finishes are fingerprints, smudges and the potential for scratches. Some manufacturers offer a smudge-proof option, and black stainless tends to hide fingerprints.
We almost always recommend self-cleaning ovens that use high heat to burn off residue. Steam ovens are also self-cleaning.
Flat-front cabinets are easier to clean than door and drawer fronts adorned with grooves and ridges.
Tile is one of the most popular materials used for backsplashes. If you are concerned with kitchen cleaning, we recommend using larger tiles that minimize the amount of exposed grout. One of the friendliest materials when it comes to cleaning for backsplashes is glass. You can choose almost any color; there’s no grout, and using a standard household glass cleaner is all you will need.
Stone, quartz, stainless steel and engineered quartz are durable, nonporous, stainproof and easy to clean.
Trash and Recycling
Most of our clients welcome trash and recycling containers in pull out cabinets underneath the sink or close to the sink where most clean-up occurs.
Open shelves are increasingly popular because they are budget-friendly, make kitchen space look larger and enable homeowners to showcase collectibles and organize materials. The downside to open shelves is that they are exposed to dust and grime.
What materials, finishes, appliances and surfaces require the least maintenance? Give us a call at 574-533-0597 or make an appointment to visit our showroom and we can offer guidance to create the kitchen of your dreams that is also easy to clean.
We’ve entered the second half of 2020 and want to share the design trends that stood out during the first half of the year in Michiana.
Split finishes are in vogue in everything from plumbing fixtures and appliances to door and cabinet hardware. We’ve seen ear-to-ear smiles when we present combination black and gold finishes to our clients. Specifying gold refrigerator pulls on a matte black refrigerator creates a dramatic and refined focal point in any kitchen. We also have had an extremely positive reception pairing black and silver tones in all design motifs – traditional, transitional and contemporary.
Mixed materials is another trend in new kitchens and baths. Combining metal, stone, wood and glass are on point for many homeowners and builders. Imagine an island that features an engineered stone top contrasted with two-tone wood paneling and a matte black sink with gold-finished faucet. Simply gorgeous.
Similar to mixing materials is specifying contrasting colors. Different colored upper and lower cabinets continue to gain in popularity.
Functional furniture is also making a new home in kitchens and baths. Homeowners in Michiana warmly respond to suggestions for desk space, separate storage cabinetry and pantries, open shelving and other solutions that are more reminiscent of furniture found in other places in the home than traditional kitchen cabinetry.
White kitchen cabinetry continues to rank as the number one preference in homes. However, we see white trending in other materials and fixtures beyond cabinetry. White finished appliances, split chrome and white faucetry and split white toned lighting make for a dramatic statement in any kitchen. Other trending colors for finishes in kitchens and baths include champagne, bronze, gray, gold and black.
Your new kitchen has to look out-of-this-world and serve multiple purposes and functions, spanning from the space where meals are prepared to a central gathering place for family and friends. A well-designed kitchen combines stylish aesthetics with durable and functional finishes and materials.
How can you capitalize on new design trends to create the kitchen or bath of your dreams? Give us a call at (574) 533-0597 or contact us to make an appointment to visit our showroom.
Necessity truly has been the mother of invention during the COVID-19 crisis. When our showroom team and our customers were under stay-at-home orders, we had to pivot to respond to the multiple requests from homeowners in Michiana that realized their kitchens did not provide the functionality, aesthetic, or lifestyle that they wanted. Being stuck at home for an extended period was eye-opening. The COVID-19 emergency orders to stay at home resulted in our showroom providing homeowners the necessary tools to measure their kitchens, which enabled our designers to develop preliminary plans and move the renovation process forward. Measurements provide a road map and allow a talented, experienced designer to determine how to maximize space for efficiency and aesthetic impact. The three main areas of a kitchen, referred to as the golden triangle, include the sink, the refrigerator and the range, cooktop, or cooking area. The sink should ideally be between the refrigerator and the stove. Each leg of the triangle should be between four and nine feet, and the total perimeter of the triangle should be between 13 and 26 feet. The kitchen triangle has evolved as habits and lifestyle needs have changed. We ask homeowners numerous questions to learn exactly how they will use the kitchen. We like to know how often they cook, how many family members are involved in meal preparation We ask if they have a baker in the family, how often they entertain, what they want their new kitchen to do that their existing kitchen cannot and so on. Ideally, if there is a baker in the family, the design should allow for a zone that incorporates all of the tools needed for baking, such as pie tins, measuring cups and spoons, rolling pins, and baking sheets located near the pantry or the oven. The area designated for meal preparation should be located near the sink and house everything needed to make mouthwatering meals. The tools in the meal preparation area are knives, pots, pans, pot holders, roasters, cutting boards, colanders, peelers, whisks, basters, and the trash can, among others. We like to provide homeowners in Michiana at least 21 inches of countertop space on each side of the cooktop space permitting. Otherwise, an island or peninsula across from the cooktop makes for an ideal space for meal preparation. Space restricted kitchens can make specifying the right size refrigerator a challenge. Standard refrigerators are 36 inches deep. However, if there is no room for a standard size, manufacturers produce models that are 24 and 30 inches deep. Many do-it-yourselfers don’t account for the swing of the refrigerator door and often find it cannot open completely because of an obstruction. Storage is another essential consideration in the design of a new kitchen. How much storage space is wanted or needed will determine the size of cabinetry and the number of cabinets. Open shelving is a hot trend in Michiana because it provides a more open feel and enables homeowners to showcase collectibles or favorite glassware, cooking tools or whatever else they desire. Open shelving does not offer the same amount of storage space as cabinetry. What’s the ideal layout for your new kitchen? We can help turn your dreams into reality. Contact Leatherman Supply to get answers to your questions, or to schedule a showroom visit.
Ceilings are often an afterthought of the renovation process and don’t get the attention or recognition that they deserve. In a well-designed kitchen or bath in Michiana, nothing should be overlooked, including the ceiling. Ceiling height, shape, style, accessories, and color helps determine how a living space looks and how it feels.
The ceiling should be considered the fifth wall in your new kitchen or bath and should be used to enhance the space’s character. Paint, wallpaper, different textures, heights, finishes, and materials can be employed to create a ceiling that serves as a focal point and enhances the overall design and functionality of the space.
The standard height of a kitchen or bath ceiling is eight to nine feet. In some remodels, increasing that height is not practical or even feasible, depending on what is above your bath or kitchen. Typically, we have more flexibility in the bath to incorporate a skylight over a tub, add window space, or create a dropped area of the room to define a portion of the space.
Here are some common ceiling options to enhance your bath or kitchen:
- Cove ceilings have curved edges between the ceiling and the wall to create a dome-like design that can create a focal point at the top of the walls. One advantage of cove ceilings is that they help make a living space appear taller than it is.
- Vaulted ceilings create a sense of volume and spaciousness to a room and also serve to make a living space appear larger than it is. Most homes with a sloped roof can support a vaulted ceiling. Vaulted ceilings can have curved or straight sides and symmetrical or asymmetrical lines.
- Cathedral ceilings employ straight sides that slope upward at the same angle as the exterior roofline. The most famous cathedral ceiling is at Notre-Dame in Paris. You can’t build anything on top of a cathedral ceiling, but you can create one from unused attic space.
- Tray Ceilings and Coffered ceilings are similar. While coffered ceilings have multiple recessed sections, a tray ceiling has one, larger inverted area. Both add depth to a room and make it appear more spacious.
- Any new kitchen or bath ceiling can be enhanced by decorative moldings, especially Victorian homes.
- Beamed ceilings are another tool in a designer’s arsenal to create unique looks. Beams add warmth and character to a room. You need a taller space for beams so the living space doesn’t feel small and cramped.
- Even basic ceilings can be enhanced with statement-making lighting, paint, or patterned wallpaper.
How can you take advantage of the fifth wall to make your new dream kitchen or bath become a reality? Give us a call at (574) 533-0597 or make an appointment to visit our showroom.
Everyone we speak to in Michiana wants to do their best and take prudent measures to keep family members safe. The coronavirus pandemic has placed a premium on disinfecting and cleaning. Think about the empty shelves in the grocery store where cleaning supplies typically are stocked.
The Center for Disease Control has issued guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting your home. A tool that may help keep your family safe is the sanitizing cycle found on many dishwashers, washing machines and dryers. The ability to kill germs on clothes, cutlery, dishes and glassware depends on water temperature. Appliances with sanitization cycles meeting National Sanitation Foundation standards are tested to ensure that they can eliminate potentially harmful allergens, some microorganisms and bacteria. Dishwashers that meet NSF standards have rinse water temperatures of at least 150 degrees, and the water temperature of washing machines that meet NSF standards must reach a minimum of 131 degrees. Concerning clothes dryers, the heat from a normal cycle is not sufficient to sanitize laundry. However, the sanitizing cycle increases dryer temperature to one that can kill germs or bacteria lingering on your laundry.
A best practice for protecting your family is to rinse and load dirty dishes into your dishwasher immediately. Leaving dirty dishes in a sink, countertop or elsewhere creates a ripe environment for the growth of E. coli, salmonella and listeria, and those harmful bacteria increase the longer dishes sit in an open-air environment. If dishes sit long enough, it may be difficult for a regular dishwasher to disinfect them.
There’s more incentive to be vigilant today. Before the outbreak of COVID-19, most appliance experts recommended sanitizing cycles on appliances as an effective tool to help allergy sufferers. According to the World Health Organization, the coronavirus can live on plastic and metal surfaces for several days, even though the CDC says the virus does not spread easily from contaminated surfaces. Why take the risk if you have appliances with sanitization cycles?
Other appliances that can help you keep your home safer include air purifiers, HEPA vacuum cleaners and steam convection ovens. These appliances are all designed to eliminate bacteria and sanitize hard-to-clean items. If you want to take the natural path consider an air-purifying plant for your kitchen.
If you are in the market for a new washer, dryer, dishwasher or oven, and would like to know which appliances have NSF compliant sanitation cycles, give us a call at (574) 533-0597 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org make a virtual or face-to-face appointment at our showroom.