Monday, 29 November 2010

Granite Kitchen Worktops For Long Lasting Beauty

There are of course many different materials from which one can construct a kitchen worktop. Not so many of them, though, that will retain their original good looks and functionality over years of abuse. Kitchens are full of mess almost all the time – food in preparation, food being eaten, food that’s done with but still lying around on plates and in pots, and of course the washing up, which splashes water and junk all over the place on a daily basis. Granite kitchen worktops are one of the only fittings that can be guaranteed to hold their looks as well as their function over long periods of time.

Granite, after all, has spent millions of years turning into granite before it gets made into a beautiful worktop. It is one of the most hard wearing stones in common usage – it’s easy to quarry, but once it is finished and polished, it can be hit with a hammer and very little will happen to its body. The immense heat and pressure of something like 60,000,000 years spent under a volcano has already sealed granite into an almost impregnable solidity: granite kitchen worktops are easily capable of withstanding a little splash back from an over heated pan of tomatoes.

Let’s contrast granite with wood – that way you’ll see exactly what we’re talking about here. Granite is hard and polished, which means liquids sit on top of it. They don’t stain it, and they are not absorbed by it. So: imagine pouring a tin of tomatoes onto a granite surface. It’s messy but it’s easy to clean up. 10 minutes later no-one would know the tomatoes had ever been there. Now – imagine the same thing on a wooden surface. Nightmare: tomato juice sinking rapidly into the wood, stain spreading everywhere and abrasive cleaning products out of the question. Granite kitchen worktops – no stain; wooden kitchen surfaces – blotched red and smelly within days of being installed.

That’s not to say that wood doesn’t have a place in the kitchen – wood is a very nice material in its own right and can deliver an excellent feel to a cooking area. It’s just not suitable for work surfaces. Chopping boards yes, worktops no.

Granite looks amazing, too, which doesn’t hurt – and it comes in a range of colours, according to the saturation of non quartz parts in its makeup. You can get granite – and, therefore, granite kitchen worktops – in just about any shade, from obsidian all the way through to pale rose. A kitchen can be colour coded with its work surfaces, when granite is used. Wood is, well, wood. It’s brown, or thereabouts – and if it’s any darker than that you can’t see the stains in it until they start to smell.

Wood also gets scratched easily – and scratches are ideal homes for all kinds of stink and-or semi lethal bacteria. Having a wooden worktop is a recipe for food poisoning. If you want to scratch granite kitchen worktops you’d need to do it with a roadside drill. For strength, beauty and durability – it’s granite all the way.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Modern Classics: Granite And Quartz Worktops For Beautiful Kitchens And Bathrooms

Kitchen decoration is back in a big way. The 80s, with their horrible faux technological ovens and microwaves, have died; the 90s, which bowdlerised farmhouse kitchens in a way that somehow took all the charm out of them, are no more; and the Noughties, with their appalling preponderance of white plastic, have turned up their little toes and gone to the great style graveyard in the sky. 2010 has been the year of proper kitchen decor: quartz worktops, granite worktops, lovely old school range cookers and monumental fridge freezers that took their lines, like all the best devices, from 50s Americana. Style and grace, welcome back to the place in which we cook.

There’s a thing about kitchens that people often overlook. We spend so much time in them; they should be decorated with as much care as the lounge or the bathroom. Indeed, kitchen and bathroom are the only two rooms in an entire house, be it never so huge, that a person is guaranteed to use every day. Obviously, people sleep in the bedroom every night – but waking hours can only call the kitchen and bathroom into play for certain. It’s no coincidence, then, that these are the two rooms in the house in which one would expect to find quartz worktops or granite worktops. Perhaps human kind responds better to this kind of material: long lasting, decorative, endlessly classy and fitting with anything. It’s like that natural cave substance has stayed with us through 100 million years of evolution and now we’ve used it to show off our civilisation and sophistication.

With great success, too. The bathroom is an ideal example of the ways in which quartz or granite can attune to every taste and style. Whether one’s feeling is for modern bathrooms, with huge walk in showers and the occasional minimalist planter in a corner, or classic country house rooms full of flowers and soap baskets – quartz worktops and granite worktops add that wow factor in both cases. One even gets the same effect from white granite in a “rock star” bathroom – you know, the kind where there’s two of everything and the bath is on a pedestal. No matter what the final look, those polished stone surfaces set it off just wonderfuly.

In the kitchen, the dark mass of granite, with its silver and blue flecks catching the glow from artfully placed spot lights, can make every meal (from snack to banquet) a joy to prepare. A super modern kitchen, with utility islands in open plan, looks frankly stunning when a bit of white marble is thrown into the mix. And don’t forget the colour matching capabilities of granite, which can come in any hue from dark black to light rose. Granite worktops fit all colour plans and decors because they blend: quartz worktops do the same thing because they add that perfect gleam of white, which goes with everything.

In both cases and both rooms, we all know there is something extra special about a polished stone surface. Do yourself and your house the favour you both deserve – get with the decade of good taste.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Built-in Appliances Can Upgrade Old Kitchen

It's easier than you think to have a real dream kitchen using materials and equipment currently available. Research Indicates that about 23 million American homemakers are wasting time, energy and a lot of good humor working in outdated, inadequate kitchens, most of them more than 20 years old.

If you're planning to remodel your kitchen this year, you'll want your new kitchen to include these general working areas: a food preparation and storage center cooking center, clean-up center laundry, sewing center, family dining area, and homemaker's planning center. And each will have its own storage. The overall appearance of your kitchen should be warm and inviting. New colored appliances can set the keynote for your favorite type of decor - either sophisticated modern or quaint Early American.

Here are some great ideas:

New pastel colored appliances can be used with a variety of color plans. However, if you still.prefer white appliances, you can add color to your kitchen in other ways!

The heart of your cooking center is your range. Choose the finest you can afford, and it will repay you with time saving and efficiency.

A modern exhaust hood above the range plays a functional role helping to keep the rest of your kitchen clean.

The wall behind your range should be of some wall material that-is easy to wipe clean.

Small utensils and condiments can be stored beside the range in handy shallow cabinets.

Base cabinets in the cooking center should be planned for condiment storage—a drawer file for saucepan lids; a heavy wooden pull-out shelf that doubles as a chopping block; a place to set hot casseroles and roasts; a knife drawer, and pull-out racks for trays; cookie sheets, broiler pans and other utensils.

Mixer and blender should be in the center for food preparation and storage. Roll-out shelves could store toaster and coffee maker, and other special roll-out drawers, bins and racks can hold dry foods canned goods and bottles.

The sink cabinet is the place for a convenient wastebasket and a pull-out rack for drying towels Your automatic dishwasher can be built-in under- the counter, and your sink should be equipped with a food waste disposer.

There should be ample food capacity for even a large family in your food freezer and refrigerator

Automatic washer, dryer, and clothes hamper make a compact center of your laundry area. Roll-out shelves in a base cabinet provide handy storage for the iron and laundry supplies.

The dining area could double as a planning and sewing center. Your planning desk could contain a radio, telephone, address book, stationery drawer, and a shelf for cook books.

A special file drawer could keep sewing patterns, and a swing-out lamp can be used with both the desk and sewing machine.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Handy Space Makers Help Give Extra Convenience To Kitchen

Extra space in the kitchen is always welcomed by the housewife with the usual small kitchen. Here are a few decorating hints that will add inches to your room and increase its efficiency. First of. all, a U-shaped work center is ideal for a room {hat has limited wall space. You'll still have plenty of cabinet .and working surface, but by shaping the work center into a "U" there will be added wall space that can be utilized for closets or extra 'shelves. Besides, the U-shaped work center, gives the kitchen a modern, "good-idea" look.

Another space - saver is a table that swings in and out from a cabinet. Just pull it out when you need it, or slide it back when that extra work area is desired. A cupboard that revolves can be another handy improvement for that kitchen with limited space. Just spin the shelves around and everything is at your, finger tips.

A handy work-saver is to use linoleum for the tops of the cabinets and sink unit. It's smooth and easy to clean. A damp cloth is all that's need to wipe off dust or spilled liquids. Linoleum also can be used effectively on closet shelves. It's long wearing, always bright, and so smooth that dust can be wiped off in a jiffy.

Ideas like these are easy to carry put. The kitchen, that seemed to lace space and efficiency can be transformed overnight to a unit where working is a pleasure.