KITCHEN & BATH
One things for sure, there are a ton of cabinet companies out there. Each project is unique which means needs for each project varies. I love working with clients to zero in on their needs, wants, and desires for their space. Many details come together to create the aesthetic for the spaces in which we live. And for a kitchen, cabinets dictate your style. The finish, color, style, layout, all of these elements are incorporated in your overall kitchen aesthetic.
For the past five years, working with various companies, I know a quality company when I see it. When I first started out as in Interior Designer, I made a huge spreadsheet with all company information, details, contact information, and then as time went on and projects progressed and went from to-do to complete, I found myself using a handful of companies for cabinets, tile, hardware, and fixtures. And one of those cabinet companies is, Willow Lane Cabinetry.
I love writing about products and companies I believe in. This post was in no way sponsored or an ad. I simply love what I do and want to shout from the rooftops when I find a great company offering high-quality products and excellent customer service. These are all values I hold near and dear to my heart and standards that I uphold within my business, Pulos Designs.
Let’s get started. When you begin combing through their website, you see first off they offer a ton of options. And you know you’re receiving a high quality product. Not to mention their warranty plan. I’ve listed all below some of the items covered in their “Accident Protection Plan.” Because let’s be real, life happens and while we all intend to protect our purchases, stuff happens, spills and liquid stains and scratches and dings, so breathe that deep sigh of relief because with Willow Lane - you are covered.
Accident Protection Plan coverage:
Plus, if your cabinets are no longer available for whatever reason, Willow Lane will completely replace them. Say what? Yep, pretty darn cool. To read more about their warranty information, click here.
The details for a remodel can be quite overwhelming. That’s why I Iove samples. Allowing clients to imagine their kitchen through samples is a great way to thin out the list of what you think you want. The company has always been incredibly helpful in supplying samples for my various projects and shipping was quite quick too.
In my experience of purchasing high volumes of cabinetry, sometimes the customer service can suffer. Luckily in my experiences with Willow Lane, they are kind, straight-forward, communicative, and follow through with what they say the will. All the kinds of things you need (and want) when you are going through a home remodel. If you're in the market, I would definitely check out what they have to offer.
Cafe Appliances from GE are making your appliance purchasing that much easier. How you say? With customization. Cafe Appliances are offered in a variety of customizable options, more than we’ve seen before.
The GE website proclaims “the Café brand is bringing ultra-premium style to the mass premium marketplace. For the first time ever, customizable accents, bold finishes, and high-performance features.”
Gone are the days when you were cornered into which stainless steel appliance to purchase. The opportunity to integrate your appliances into the overall look and feel of your kitchen was simply not an option. But now, thanks to Cafe Appliances, you can more cohesively create the desired aesthetic of your kitchen, down to the details. All that is enough to make you jump for joy in your local appliance warehouse, but it gets even better. In all their customizable options, Cafe Appliances are still offered at an affordable price.
The Cafe Appliance Series includes the following:
When considering the overall aesthetic of your kitchen, light, dark, neutrals, Cafe Appliances have you covered. Offering three basic color options - Matte Black, Matte White, Stainless Steel. And - the fun doesn’t stop there, the extra treat comes when you also get to choose the custom hardware.
The Cafe Appliance tagline is “accessorize your kitchen like you do your outfit.” The vibrant and beautiful colors to choose from are: Brushed Copper, Brushed Bronze, Brushed Black, and Brushed Stainless. It also gets better. Let’s say a few years down the road you want to give your kitchen a spruce or do a full remodel but hold on to your great appliances. You can simply select a different finish and replace the hardware all together.
If you want to learn even more about Cafe Appliances, check out their website.
When remodeling, you make a lot of decisions. The first of course, the decision to change something that simply isn’t working anymore (and probably hasn’t been for quite some time).
The next is budgetary restrictions, what to splurge on and what elements you want to remain a bit more conservative on.
Needless to say there are a ton of options to choose from when it comes to cabinets. My main bit of advice would be to go with a look you enjoy and will continue to for years to come. And if you plan to sell your home in the next 3-5 years, select something that has general appeal and doesn't distract or turn buyers away with too bold a look.
I would like to preface this “How to Paint Cabinets” post with a huge disclaimer: It is a lot of work and you might find yourself using words you only would have used in your past life as a sailor.
I’ll add that in addition to DIY painting our cabinets white, we were also getting new appliances that didn’t quite fit in the existing spots (yay). We unexpectedly had to knock out a small wall, the granite installers cut our sink-hole wrong, and I had just started a new project, so perhaps that added into the stress I was dealing with!
This was a brand-new house to me, so while we also unpacked, we completely renovated the kitchen. I would suggest perhaps when you undertake the painting of your kitchen cabinets, choose a time when you don’t have multiple projects or new happenings in your life at the same time. Of course, life happens, but selecting a calmer time in your life is most definitely suggested.
Below, I have provided steps so you know exactly what this project involves. Please note, it took about a month to finish this project as we only worked on the cabinets on the weekends. If you plan to do consistent work throughout the week, it will get done much quicker.
Step 1: Wash your cabinet doors and drawers.
First, unhinge your cabinet doors, remove the drawer faces, and wash them with one-part tri-sodium phosphate and four parts water. To complete this step, we mixed the solution in a bucket and then used the bathtub. Don’t forget to scrub the actual cabinets as well. It is important to let them dry well before priming.
Step 2: Prime
For this step we used Zinnser Cover Stain Interior Oil Primer from Lowes, and used a small roller for the flat surfaces and a bristle brush to get the nooks and crannies. Feel free to just slather it on there, the primer doesn’t need to be pretty.
Step 3: Paint, Paint, Paint
We used Valspar Cabinet Enamel with Semi-Gloss Finish and it turned out really nice. To get my desired coverage, I ended up doing four coats. I painted the cabinets themselves in the house with windows open and that definitely took a majority of the time. So much surface area!
Step 4: Hang and attach
After the paint was dry, dry, dry we reattached the doors and faces. We tried to make a “map” of them all before we took them off, but we didn’t do a perfect job. It was somewhat like a jigsaw puzzle getting everything in the right place. After they were all attached, I stood back and checked for spots that needed any touch-ups and went around with the white paint to fix them. I think it’s crucial to hang them and spot check before doing the final polycrylic coat.
Step 5: Polycrylic coat x2
The poly coat is incredibly important because it will make the cabinets LAST and not get dinged up from usage and general daily wear and tear.
We used Minwax polycrylic protective finish in the Satin Finish, and we needed exactly one quart to do the kitchen. I used every last drop and did two coats. You’ll want to use a brush though it does go on clear. Initially, I was afraid of it drying yellow, but we were reassured at Lowes that it wouldn’t, and they were right!
If you do find any spots where there are any “globs” (in corners/nooks and crannies) they may dry yellow, so be careful to smooth those out prior to them drying. Though if there are any spots that yellow, simply sand them down and repaint them and do the process again and they will look seamless.
Man, writing this down makes me realize that other than the time factor, painting the cabinets was the least of my worries during our kitchen reno! Just a few steps to follow. So if you’ve got some time on your hands and are ready to transform your kitchen, you are ready to rock in roll.
Below, I’ve provided a few more pictures of the rest of the kitchen transformation!
When you consider resale value of a home, it's a good idea to take into consideration the fact that bathrooms have become a prime selling feature. Nowadays, everyone wants a bathroom that feels more like a spa. Whether it’s the tub, tile selection, or the capacity of sinks, every detail matters when it comes to designing the bathroom of your (or a future homeowner’s) dreams.
The best part about designing the space yourself, is you control the budget and make the decisions of how you want your new space to look and feel. So when you’re done, it just may look like it’s ready for the cover of a magazine.
I’ve included a few components that I believe are must-haves for a kitchen remodel.
To give your bathroom a real “pop,” choose a wall that can work as an accent element. Typically, the wall behind the tub or around a window make for good options.
If you are still in the beginning stages of your “DIY” adventures, and want a simple way to achieve this look, simply choosing a shade slightly darker or lighter than the rest of the walls works well. The accent wall will have a distinct look and draw attention when walking into the bathroom. If you are ready to do something a little more, a little texture is the way to go. Choose a bright tile or brick to really give your accent wall a unique look.
If your bathroom doesn’t have a linen closet, you might want to consider adding a vanity with cabinets. If space doesn’t allow for cabinets and you are planning on a pedestal sink, adding some simple shelves is a quick fix. For a rustic look, try weathered wooden shelves and use them to store extra towels and washcloths as well.
One recommendation is to do away with standard bathroom lighting and bring in some on-trend pieces. Adding a chandelier, like this one from Hudson Valley Lighting, will add personality to your space. It really is your preference if you prefer it to be large or small. And depending on your design taste it can be classic or a little more modern. Another idea would be to add a few fixtures throughout if you want a more subtle look. Lighted mirrors above the vanity and/or separate fixtures above the tub, shower and toilet areas will not only lend a little ambiance, but also save electricity.
Tile is an integral part of bathroom design and shows unique personality. Choosing geometric shapes gives the space dimension, a great idea for the shower. Mixing & matching tiles and colors is currently a big trend for bathrooms. For example, use a classic, white ‘subway tile’ around the walls and then maybe a smaller hexagonal tile in a darker color for the floor. If you prefer to use all white tile, using different sizes and shaped tiles will give that classic look. Check out this chevron from Tile Bar.
It’s All About the Tub
As with many things through the years, bathtubs have evolved and a shower/tub combination is rarely seen in newer bathrooms. If you have a space that allows for a divided shower and tub, this is definitely the route to go! I really like this tub from Mirabelle. For those opting for separate tubs and showers, finding the perfect tub is important. Garden tubs are great, especially for corner placement and the perfect place for a night-time bubble bath. A classic freestanding bathtub with silver feet can give a space that one of a kind feel.
Before we get started, I have to ask, do you remember that popular mid-90's song by Chumbawumba, "Tub Thumping?" I can't help but think of that song whenever I'm thinking about tubs.
I mean, the lyrics of the song could be the lyrical anthem of the tub...you get home from a hard day, you feel like you’ve been knocked down, you sink into your big soaking tub and relax, you get back up again--never to be kept down...?
Ok...so maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but don’t you feel nostalgic? Feel free to listen to “Tub Thumping” as you read because according to the band, it’s a song about the resilience of ordinary people--and that same idea can be applied to bathtubs.
Now, let's dive in (haha) - the bathtub may seem like an ordinary fixture, a necessary appliance or structure in most homes, but thanks to many designers and the resilience of antique tubs, the bathtub is becoming a central design feature setting the tone for the oft-most used room in the home (besides the kitchen).
From a historical perspective, a quick visit to Wikipedia tells us that “throughout history, societies devised systems to enable water to be brought to population centers.” Ancient Indians used elaborate personal hygiene rituals taking three baths daily, and in ancient Greece, small bathtubs, wash basins, and foot baths were used for personal cleanliness. So essentially, what we may have guessed is confirmed, bathing goes way back.
The tub is obviously the focal point of the bathroom for anyone interested in truly relaxing in their space can’t be denied. And manufacturers know what you’re interested in, so over the years they’ve developed many styles, features, and shapes to fit any design aesthetic and budget.
You may have noticed some categories overlap a bit...in that an alcove or corner tub can also be a drop-in (isn’t a corner a sort of alcove anyway) and that a clawfoot tub is a freestanding tub, it just has feet instead of a pedestal or solid base.
Determining which tub is right for you is a matter of preference as one considers budgetary and space constraints and what a beautiful thing that the available options are pretty limitless. Something to note, you can additionally customize with faucets or fixtures, using these to style and function in the ways you wish. Also, the more antique looking tubs (if they aren’t actually antique) can be outfitted with jets, lights, and myriad other relaxing elements.
One key piece of advice one is often told when shopping for new bathroom elements is to “get in the tub.” Of course, buying online can be the easy thing - point, click, pay and have it delivered to your house--and you didn’t even have to get out of your pajamas, but experts advise testing out the tub. Sit in it at the store, move around in it, do a little vision exercise to explore how you feel when you’re in it. Aside from that, the second most repeated piece of advice is making sure the measurements are right. Afterall, getting your heart and budget set on that high-backed, pedestal tub, only to find it won’t fit in your space wouldn’t be very much fun. The old adage rings true--measure twice, buy the tub once.
Is a tub a non-negotiable for you? What kind of tub do you have? If you were to make changes to your space, what kind of tub would you pick?
When you design your new kitchen, you can be perfectly satisfied with doors, shelves, and drawers that open and close just as they have for hundreds of years.
But in today’s modern and technologically-advanced world, you options are somewhat limitless. Just look at this beautiful kitchen from @vangompelfarmhouse with Kingston Brass above.
In addition to shelves and drawers, innovative storage designers offer spaces that slide, glide, hang and hide. You can store more, access it conveniently, and keep it from sight until you need the contents.
In most kitchens, some cabinet space is out of reach and becomes home to the fondue pot and the holiday drinking glasses. With these new solutions, every inch of space becomes useful and available for daily use.
Storage experts have also modernized traditional solutions like pullout cabinet organizers. If you have one in your kitchen, you most likely noticed that after a few years of use, the wobbly contraption is more likely to fall off its track than actually open in as it is meant to. Hardware Resources offers a “no wiggle” organizer that makes moveable shelves more functional for long-term use.
If you’re ready to make your kitchen space more functional for you, contact me and I will work with you to find the most up-to-date solutions to suit your needs. Write to me at Cassandra@pulosdesigns.com
So. You think the time has come to remodel your kitchen. Whoa, there! Before you start looking at swatches and searching for contractors, you might want to answer a few questions.
Otherwise, this remodeling project could go awry quickly. Use these eight questions to guide you in where you want to go with regard to the essential - cost, design, and construction.
How many people will make use of your kitchen?
If it's just you and your partner, your kitchen will look very different than if you have a family of six. If you have children, perhaps you want a more easily adult accessible appliances and cabinets. Whereas, empty nesters might desire a kitchen island that contains a cooktop and sink.
What are your kitchen ‘Must-Haves’?
One of the first steps in remodeling your kitchen is making a list of your "must-haves," whether that's a chef-grade stove or an industrial dishwasher. Next, make a list of what we call your "nice-to-haves," which you will love to add if your remodeling budget permits.
Do you plan to entertain on a regular basis?
Do you consider yourself the Martha Stewart type? Or do you just want to have your best friends over for some tacos and margaritas once in a while? If you plan on entertaining regularly, you'll want to consider getting wall ovens and perhaps allowing more room for appliances. A layout that accommodates certain features while preventing an uncluttered kitchen is just what you need.
How will you use extra space?
Once your kitchen becomes more purposely organized, you find you end up with a lot more space. For example, you can access tough corners in your kitchen drawers with rotating carousels and interiors that pull out. Even some simple drawer organizers will make things a lot easier for your household.
How will you invest in cabinetry?
Always choose quality cabinetry. Cabinets contribute to a significant part of your kitchen's aesthetic, so you want to put a sizable part of your remodeling budget towards not only the look but the function of your kitchen cabinets as well.
Do you want to take care of a super trendy kitchen?
Right now the hot trend in kitchen design is open shelving. Open shelves are a great look if that's exactly what you want for your kitchen. Open shelves do attract a lot of dust, so ask yourself if you're ready for a little extra maintenance work.
What do you want to throw away?
As you clean out your kitchen cabinets, take inventory of what you have. See what you want to keep, what you can donate or what needs to be thrown away.
Do you get a good vibe from your contractor?
This question is of vital importance. First things first, never hesitate to ask for a contractor's references. You are not being rude or paranoid. You're practicing common sense. If you meet with a contractor but feel something just isn’t right, trust your instinct and go with another candidate. Don’t let someone you aren’t comfortable with, work on your kitchen, your home is too important.
Are you starting a kitchen remodel? I'd love to hear about your project below!
If you are among the growing number of consumers who hope to leave a smaller environmental imprint on the earth – but still want a beautiful home – IceStone countertops may be a right fit for your remodel.
IceStone is a unique surface made from up to 75 percent recycled glass, seashells, and cement. This material creates a reflective surface while showing off flecks of the polished glass for a beautiful and polished look. In addition to being aesthetically attractive, IceStone offers many of the same qualities as granite and quartz in 29 colors, from neutral to bold, all at pretty reasonable prices. Every type of IceStone costs the same and offers a wide range of styles that are suitable for all types of homes, from a beach house to a Greenwich Village condo. You have options to choose from whichever color and style suits your taste with the convenience of not having to pay more.
IceStone proclaims itself to be one of the most environmentally and socially “sustainable” countertop products on the market. That’s one of the reasons why I like it. The company was founded in 2003 and produces all of its products in a warehouse in the Brooklyn Navy Yards. They are committed to hiring workers from diverse local neighborhoods with starting pay 35 percent above the local living wage. Employees own 10 percent of the company and are guaranteed 5 percent of profits. The countertops are often used in “green” buildings and are made without petrochemicals or resins. IceStone says it has prevented 13 million pounds of glass from entering the waste stream, and all the glass used is recycled. How awesome is that?!
The cost of an IceStone installation averages about $150 a foot, so it is a high-end product and not the cheapest environmentally-friendly option available, this is why some remodelers often drop it from their list.
Because IceStone countertops contain cement they need to be sealed, usually once a year, just as a marble or 100 percent cement countertop would be. Because not everyone is diligent in their sealing practices, some installers recommend IceStone only for bathrooms, although I love it for bars and laundry rooms, too. Without a proper seal, acids or harsh cleaners will stain the surface, so homeowners who prefer as little maintenance as possible will select quartz, wood or granite instead.
Are you ready to talk about countertops? Contact me at Cassandra@pulosdesign.com and I will come to your home to discuss the best solution for your kitchen and bath.
To all of us who watch HGTV, or who observed our grandmothers and mothers cook in their own kitchens, we know that kitchen layout and design trends have changed dramatically over the years.
We have spread out, added counter space, diversified cabinet trims instead of preserving traditional white or yellow paint, and most importantly, we made the kitchen part of the living and entertainment space.
Kitchens were moved to the first floor when electric lines were strung to the countryside, and electric ranges and refrigerators became available.
As the U.S. boomed after WWII, large-scale builders began incorporating ideas about how to make workflow more efficient, including in suburban kitchens. At about the same time, ideas about homemaking were changing, with prepared meals offered in supermarkets and, at the other end of the spectrum, people like Julia Child campaigned that anyone could cook a gourmet meal. Cooking was becoming less of a chore and more enjoyable activity.
Contact me at Cassandra@pulosdesigns.com to talk about the options we can create together for your new kitchen.
We’ve all been there...you’re meal prepping because, well, healthy lifestyle choices. You’ve used literally every dish and utensil in your kitchen. Even though the blog you got the recipe from said you would only need one cutting board, a food processor and some bento boxes to turn that $200 worth of groceries into a bevy of healthy cook once, eat twice, healthy meals for the whole family. The sink is filling up, and you still have work to do.
Since the beginning of time (or really, since the beginning of kitchen design of kitchens equipped with appliances), there seemed to be one main rule: The Triangle. That is, for functionality, the location of your sink, stove/oven and refrigerator should form a triangle in your kitchen. Adding a second sink totally debunks this rule--but with good reason(s) including: division of kitchen labor, harmonious cooking and increased efficiency.
Having two sinks also eliminates some of the inevitable kitchen traffic. If you’re one part of a crew of cooks who like to work in the kitchen simultaneously, you know it can get a bit hectic. Even the most simpatico couples have different techniques and styles when it comes to prepping, cooking and cleanup. Having one sink can cause a bit of a traffic jam and has the opportunity to dampen the love nurtured when cooking with a loved one. But add another sink and everyone can enjoy their own space, do what they need, and frustration stays at a minimum.
If after reading the above, you’re still unsure whether you really need a second sink, let the Holy Grail of home design, Better Homes & Gardens, offer you their take on the subject.
Their article says, “Once used primarily in large spaces or in those with butler’s pantries, two kitchen sinks may soon be considered a given, even in modest-sized spaces.” Well, if BHG says it...it must be true. The magazine suggests considering the use of a second sink for the following:
Cleaning Up: Again, take dirty dishes to one sink so the mess is out of the way, then use the second sink for prep. BHG says, “This plan works especially well if the cleanup sink and dishwasher are located in a perimeter cabinet, leaving the island free for after-dinner conversation.” If you don’t have an island, the same could be said for bar seating.
To Get Something Different Than What You’ve Already Got. Some people have a preference to a single basin, or large, double-basin sink, but you could have the best of both worlds with two sinks in your kitchen. Each design has benefits the other doesn’t and serves a specific purpose. Having two different sinks would allow you to really put that saying “a place for everything and everything in its place” into practice.
Summer has arrived and with it the desire to spend a lot more time outdoors. An excellent way to get some time in the rays is to hang out in your outdoor kitchen with your loved ones. This blog post will give you some fun and easy tips to create an outdoor kitchen space you will want to be in all summer long.
Positioning the Outdoor Kitchen
If you're cooking for guests, you don't want to get left out of the festivities. That defeats the purpose of entertaining in the first place. Put your outdoor kitchen in a position where you can see and interact with your friends and family.
Purchase countertops that are over 40 inches high. This will hide all that mess that will come from cooking for a lot of people. When you have large countertops, you can also add a couple of bar stools so that guests can sit with you while you cook and have a drink and some conversation.
Think About The Face Of Your Kitchen
When planning the design of your outdoor kitchen, you can go a lot further than just matching the exterior of your home. For example, consider using an element that matches your pool liner, in your outdoor kitchen decor. You can use items found in your home's exterior, like stack stone, to bring a polished look to the area.
Appliances and Accessories
Since you will spend a lot of time in your outdoor kitchen this summer, you should invest in high-quality appliances and accessories. For many people, this may mean a top-of-the-line barbecue. Dual refrigerators, beverage centers, and a beer tap could be fun additions.
If you want a bit of ambiance with your next outdoor meal, you'll want to think about the way the light hits your outdoor kitchen. You can put a ceiling above the kitchen area, which will make it easy to get task lighting whenever you want it. To keep your kitchen lit for an evening meal with the family, use industrial festival lights for a fun atmosphere.
Consider putting LED lights under your countertops. Not only is this light particularly beautiful in the evening, but it also shows off the individual touches that were brought to your outdoor kitchen. For added functionality LED strips can also be placed in the toe kick.
When you design an open plan for your outdoor kitchen, your guests will find it easy to relax and serve themselves your delicious food. Position the seating area about 12 feet away from the cooking area so that your guests can talk amongst each other while the cook prepares the food. This also allows the cook to comfortably get on with their work while the party goes on around them.
Ritmonio is an innovative Italian company that specializes in kitchen and bath accessories. They comprise two parts: the Factory division, which produces components made of brass, stainless steel, copper and aluminum; and Bath and Shower, which creates beautiful and efficient faucets and other types of accessories for the bathroom.
The designers at Ritmonio do their magic by combining aesthetics, craftsmanship, and competencies in design technology to create fine products that are more than deserving of the title “Made In Italy.” All of the products in Ritmonio’s line can meet a wide variety of needs for the stylish homeowner while being environmentally friendly at the same time.
Ritmonio’s bath fixtures feature stark geometric styling that doesn’t forgo function for aesthetics. From the romantic curves of the Paolo e Francesca to the futuristic look of the Waterblade, fans of Italian interior design should find the fixture that will make their bath in this collection.
Paolo e Francesca
The dangerous yet luscious curves of the Paolo e Francesca bath fixture will brighten up almost any bathroom. You can purchase these fixtures for your sink, bath, shower, and bidet.
If you’re looking for a futuristic look for your bathroom, then you’ve found what you were looking for in the Waterblade. Its rectangle-inspired shape can be a bright spot in a trendy bathroom. You can also buy this fixture for your shower, bidet, sink, spout, and bath.
If you were a fan of video games when you were a kid, you probably remember the game Tetris. Now you can have a reminder of your video game playing days that also happens to be design forward. For a unified look, purchase the Tetris fixtures for your bath, shower, bidet, and shower.
A geometric design aesthetic combined with a loving attention to craftsmanship puts Ritmonio’s kitchen line a cut above the rest. From the architecturally inspired Zenit fixture to the playful maze of the Cardano, this beautiful line will elevate your kitchen.
If you’re going to spend a lot of time in your kitchen, that place should be as stylish, beautiful, and bold as you. You can achieve this effect in your very own kitchen with the vine-like, multi-functioning Cardano kitchen fixture.
If you’re of an architectural bent, look to the Zenit kitchen fixture. The Zenit has a classic look that can bring the look of your kitchen to a higher level just by itself. Use the Zenit with other Ritmonio fixtures for a trendy, beautiful kitchen in which anyone would want to cook a meal.
With help from Jessica Green.
If you were surprised by an Echo and Alexa voice assistant from Amazon over the holidays, you may be experimenting with all the information you can gather from your new robotic secretary. It will play music for you, order groceries, and look up homework answers on the Internet.
And you haven’t even seen the coolest thing yet.
The first generation of connected kitchen appliances will do just about anything except crack eggs and uncork a bottle of wine for you. New ovens, for instance, will allow you to send commands from your phone while you are out of the house to cook a roast so it is ready 30 minutes after you walk in the door. Certain clothes and dishwashers will count the number of loads you do and automatically order soap supplies from Amazon when you are running low, eliminating the last-minute runs to the grocery store. Why go to a crowded store when Amazon delivers life necessities right to your door?!
Over the past few years, some refrigerators have been engineered to help you update the grocery list but require you to manually use a database every time you empty a bottle of milk or remove a carrot from the vegetable bin.
That is so yesterday.
New refrigerators have built-in cameras that you can access on your phone while strolling the grocery aisles. Instead of keeping a running list, just take a peek at your refrigerator’s shelves as you shop and make your buying decisions based on what you see.
To save on energy costs, some models feature software that determines when demand is highest on the energy grid. This software will schedule your refrigerator to defrost and the oven to clean itself only during low-use periods, when the power company charges lower rates.
If you are refurbishing an existing kitchen or designing one for a new home, it’s worth checking out the features of these connected appliances to determine whether they fit your needs. Of course, they all cost a few hundred dollars more than equipment that just refrigerates and cooks the old-fashioned way, but think of the money that could be saved with all the convenient features that are offered!
Whatever you choose, rest assured that you will continue to have the pleasure of using your own hands to prepare a meal – and drink a glass of wine – for at least a few more years.
Last year, Victoria + Albert celebrated its 20th anniversary in the luxury bathing business. Nowadays, the company gets recognized for making exquisite pieces from their ENGLISHCAST® composite. This review will highlight some of the creative highs in the Victoria + Albert line.
What is ENGLISHCAST®?
It’s a mixture of resin and Volcanic Limestone™ that’s finely ground. It’s a great alternative to acrylic and cast iron. The pieces are also 100% hand-finished, made in one single piece, and are packed with a lot of wonderful properties.
What is Volcanic Limestone™?
Victoria + Albert gave this proprietary name for the white rock that makes their bathtubs and basins. When the forces of liquid magma acts upon the limestone that surrounds the reaction, Volcanic Limestone™ gets formed. The pressure and heat from the magma turns the rock into a brand new material. The brand new material then gets blended with resins to bind the strands into a three-dimensional matrix. Once everything gets finished, you have ENGLISHCAST®, an excellent composite with a great strength-to-weight ratio.
Victoria + Albert: Review
A great back story works well for PR, but will it work well for your bathroom? This review will examine what makes Victoria + Albert special enough for your home. Can you clean the tubs easily? How long will the tubs and basins last? This review will answer all of these questions and more.
Aesthetics: Volcanic Limestone™ gives you a gleaming white, glossy finish. What that means for you is that you’ll get stain resistant tubs and basins that will make them easy to care for on bathroom cleaning days.
Warmth: ENGLISHCAST® is made up of high-quality materials, so it naturally contains high insulation properties. What this means in plain English is that your tub or basin will always be warm whenever you touch it.
Surface: Victoria + Albert surfaces will always come to you solid and easy to clean. ENGLISHCAST® and Volcanic Limestone™ is completely solid inside and out. This means that any internal scratches you may have will get polished out.
Strength: Victoria + Albert’s proprietary material has particles that got created by the rock as it was undergoing the superheating process. When this material gets combined with resins they bond to create an extremely strong mixture. In addition to its natural white color and the fact that it’s harder than acrylic, all of these aspects make ENGLISHCAST® a strong material and will ensure that the bath does not flex or creak.
Personalization: Its exterior and interior are hand finished. You can hand paint or personalize the bath or faucet after you bring it home from the store.
Time: 25-year warranty.
Should You Buy Victoria + Albert Baths and Basins?
The answer is a resounding yes! If you’re interested in beautiful looking products that are easy to clean and maintain, are warm to the touch, and don’t flex or creak, then you have found the right bathing line in Victoria + Albert. Since this is a luxury bathing line, the prices may be too high for some. But for what you’ll get for the price should outweigh the initial sticker shock.
With help from Jessica Green.