10 Essential Gadgets Your Kitchen Needs Now

10 Essential Gadgets Your Kitchen Needs Now

Setting up a new kitchen or updating your old one? With so many gadgets on the market, you could be feeling overwhelmed in deciphering what’s worth it and what’s not. Here are ten must-have gadgets and appliances that would make your cooking life a whole lot easier.

1. Silicone Spatula

A spatula is a small cooking implement that is essential for scraping out the food processor or sides of a mixing bowl. Why not purchase a set of silicone spatulas that are heat-proof up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit? Not only will you have the ease of mixing, scrambling, and serving, but the heat resistance allows for the spatula to avoid melting if you leave it against your pot or pan. This item is a joy to use and reasonably priced for the quality

2. Immersion Blender

Once you’ve tried this, you won’t ever want to give it up. The immersion blender, also known as a stick blender, is a handheld tool that makes it easy to blend soups, smoothies, and pestos with a push of a button. Soups can be pureed right into the pot; small batches can be easily mixed in a bowl. Sauces can be thickened and emulsified without removing them from the stovetop. They are typically easy to clean and store, and dishwasher-safe to boot. It is much easier to handle than a traditional blender and takes up much less space.

3. Instant-Read Thermometer

A quality meat thermometer is a must if you often cook meats and want to stop guessing at when they’re done. With an instant-read thermometer, you are easily and quickly able to check to see if your meats are cooked enough. If you are cooking a lot of meat, passionate about your meat, or even paranoid about it, a digital thermometer will become invaluable. A few degrees can be the difference between a tender and tough steak.

4. Cast Iron Skillet

Made with thick, heavy bottoms and sides, cast iron skillets have been workhorses in kitchens all over the world for over 2,000 years. They can evenly heat to high temperatures and retain heat for a long time a give beautiful sear to any class of meat. They can be used on the stovetop and also able to go right in the oven for making cornbread or cobblers. They are also virtually indestructible and will last a lifetime.

5. Mandoline Slicer

The mandoline slicer is indispensable for thinly, slicing, crinkle-cutting, or waffle-cutting veggies. An adjustable-height slicer makes cutting precise slices as simple as waving your hand.

6. Silicone Baking Sheet Liner

Having a baking sheet liner will help provide an even heat transfer for your goodies while they bake. It also allows for easy transfer from baking pan to plate with its silicone technology to share with members of your family. It’s durability, non-staining, and non-sticking surface makes it easy for delicate pastries and goodies to come off without tearing, and cleanup is simple.

7. Kitchen Shears

Every day we reach for shears to open up packaging, snip away herb stems, or trim fats from meats. You might use them to cut up a chicken or trim the crust off a pie. Look for a pair that dismantles for cleaning, so that residue doesn’t build up in the hinge.

8. Microplane Grater and Zester

A microplane grater and zester are for making the most finely-grated pieces of fruits, vegetables, and cheese in basically no time at all. It is perfect for adding thin sprinkles of Parmesan over a pasta dish or adding lemon zest to a flaky fish.

9. Tongs

Tongs may seem less immediately essential, but being able to easily and precisely grip hot foods is a major plus. For easily flipping meats and vegetables, a good pair of tongs that can handle all kinds of different sized foods is a must. It’s important for them to have silicone tips to prevent scratching and a high degree of heat-resistance so they don’t melt after frequent use.

10. Countertop Toaster Oven

A countertop toaster oven makes anything from pizza to cookies. Not only do you save a little money on your energy bill, but it also greatly increases functionality being able to heat up quickly.

Ready To Get Started on Your New Kitchen or Bath?

Kitchens Unlimited in Walnut Creek and Brentwood, California has been professionally transforming spaces for clients since 2003. Designing high-end quality kitchens and bathrooms is in our blood! Designing a beautiful kitchen is not that hard, the hard part is designing a kitchen that is functional & beautiful. We love to help our clients by providing insight and education while empowering them to create the kitchens and spaces that they can thrive in.  Have a project in mind but just can’t decide? Need an expert interior designer who’s easy to work with? Want a stress-free & pain-free remodel? Contact Kitchens Unlimited to schedule your free consultation today.

 

Sources

  1. https://www.buzzfeed.com/nataliebrown/essential-cooking-tools-utensils-gadgets?utm_term=.qvBnd24bma#.gs4Rb3rlMQ
  2. https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/21-essential-kitchen-tools-every-cook-should-have/
  3. https://www.wayfair.com/ideas-and-advice/18-things-every-foodie-kitchen-needs-S5282.html
  4. https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/the-bare-minimum-the-10-tools-gadgets-goods-every-kitchen-needs-206947
  5. https://www.epicurious.com/archive/bestof/toplists/bestgadgets_knife
  6. https://www.mealime.com/kitchen-essentials-list
  7. https://www.housebeautiful.com/shopping/g3822/kitchen-supplies/?slide=2

10 Steps You Need To Follow When Choosing An Interior Designer

10 Steps You Need To Follow When Choosing An Interior Designer

10 Steps You Need To Follow When Choosing An Interior Designer

Hiring an interior designer to help bring your vision to life is one of the most important decisions you can make when it comes to remodeling your kitchen, bathroom or an addition to your home.  Finding the right designer for you – what to look for, what to ask, how to keep connected – can be a big process in itself, so here are ten steps to help you on your way to designing your dream home!

Step One – Determine Your Style

Before you begin interviewing interior designers, you need to know what you are looking to accomplish. Know what your style is so that you can hire the right person for the job. If you are not quite sure what your style is, check out some websites and put together some ideas to get a clear vision for your home.

 

Step Two – Set Your Budget

It is important to know your budget before you start to remodel. Expect for larger projects to carry a larger price tag. Know the scope of your project and how much you’re willing to spend upfront. The amount should be discussed upfront with the designer. Some designers may take on jobs only of a certain size and this will help you eliminate candidates right away.

 

Step Three – Find Candidates

By asking friends for recommendations or utilizing professional organizations, you can find designers that fit your criteria. Many designers have a signature style and tend to work on projects that appeal to them. A good designer, however, should be able to adapt to your tastes even if their personal style is completely different. To find the right designer that matches your style, take a look at their portfolios to see what they’ve created. A well-connected designer is essential when looking for specific products such as flooring or countertops because of their connected suppliers who can reduce the costs. If you are in the San Francisco East Bay (Alamo, Walnut Creek, Brentwood, Clayton) Kitchens Unlimited in Walnut Creek and Brentwood, California is an excellent resource for you to connect with.

 

Step Four – Meet With the Designers

It’s not easy ensuring you found the right designer on paper, so once you’ve narrowed down some potential choices, meet them face to face. Most designers don’t charge for these sessions but ask about a free consultation just in case. During this time, ask about their experience, certifications, services, costs, and any specifics that you can think of.

 

Step Five – Discuss Fees

Once you’ve selected the right designer for you, make sure you discuss budget limits for your project. Interior designers have three fee structures: a flat fee, an hourly fee, or a “cost-plus,” in which they buy furnishing and services at cost and add a mark-up agreed to with the client. Many designers use a combination of these three to develop an initial plan and then cost-plus to execute it. Ask for an estimate and a clear schedule for payment. Find out in the beginning what you may be billed for. In addition to the design itself, you may be billed for travel time, site visits, shopping, phone conversations, and more. If you’re on a tight budget, arrange a few hours with a designer for consultation to help you source furnishing and decorative accents.

 

Step Six – Confirm Indemnity Insurance

Interior designers should have indemnity insurance. Designers must interpret the tastes of every individual client and successfully construct their vision and with that can be an opportunity for error. Professional indemnity for design professionals covers legal costs and expenses if interior designer is alleged to have provided inadequate advice, services or designs that causes the client to lose money. This assures that the business is financially strong enough to withstand a worst-case scenario.

 

Step Seven – Sign a Contract

Once you’ve decided who to work with, sign a contract that specifies responsibilities, a timeline, budgetary limits and important aspects of your project. This letter of agreement or contract will serve to resolve any disputes or liability issues.

 

Step Eight – Communicate & Keep Track

Clear communication about budget and expectations can save a lot of headache. Put together a plan of attack – select materials and pieces with the help of your designer. You must be able to communicate what you want for your home, if you are not happy with a designer’s choices, let them know! Clients and designers must know who has the responsibility to choose and purchase items. Who is buying, when you are meeting and when and how often updates are needed should be clear before you start. The designer should have a system in place to manage the project budget.

 

Step Nine – Adapt & Keep an Open Mind

Depending on your existing work schedule, you’ll have to adapt your lifestyle and schedule in case you need to be home for certain parts of the project. Your designer might recommend a piece of furniture or art piece that you won’t like at first – let the idea sink in. Interior designers want the best for your home and that doesn’t always go well with a tight budget. Chances are that you’ll appreciate suggestions in the long run if it works with your space and your checkbook.

 

Step Ten – Enjoy the Fruits of Labor

Ask your interior designer if tune-up visits in the future are an option, whether they involve simply swapping out a few accessories, reupholstering furniture or choosing new paint colors. Your final project should reflect your interests and function within your lifestyle. If you follow these steps, you will have a smooth time in finding the right designer to transform your space.

 

Ready To Get Started on Your New Kitchen or Bath?

Kitchens Unlimited in Walnut Creek and Brentwood, California has been professionally transforming spaces for clients since 2003. Designing high-end quality kitchens and bathrooms is in our blood! Designing a beautiful kitchen is not that hard, the hard part is designing a kitchen that is functional & beautiful. We love to help our clients by providing insight and education while empowering them to create the kitchens and spaces that they can thrive in.  Have a project in mind but just can’t decide? Need an expert interior designer who’s easy to work with? Want a stress-free & pain-free remodel? Contact Kitchens Unlimited to schedule your free consultation today.

 

Sources

  1. https://www.homedit.com/how-to-choose-an-interior-design-company/
  2. https://freshome.com/2014/12/08/10-things-interior-decorators-dont-want-you-to-know/
  3. https://dengarden.com/interior-design/Selecting-and-Interior-Designer
  4. https://homeconscious.com/ten-things-when-choosing-an-interior-designer/
  5. https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/3293842/list/how-to-work-with-an-interior-designer
  6. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/21/AR2010012105421.html?noredirect=on
  7. https://www.sunset.com/home/decorating/home-decorators

DIY Magnetic Board

Hey ya’ll- Ashley here! So my inspiration for this magnetic board came from a Melissa and Doug magnetic doll for Laney last week. She showed immediate interest, but found it hard to dress the doll with the little stand it came with and the no flat surfaces we seemed to have for her disposal. (Insert light bulb above head). I will make her a magnetic board that we can attach to the wall in her play area. Big enough for this doll and any other magnets she may acquire. Thus a project was about to start!

First things first, I had nothing to make said magnetic wall board. So we all jumped in the car and headed to our second favorite place- Home Depot! There are two ways to make any surface magnetic; you can apply a magnetic paint- usually black and a very bold statement to a surface or you can purchase a piece of magnetic zinc coated metal, in any size desirable. I chose the latter.

So we went in with this list:

  • 24×46″ 26ga. zinc sheet metal
  • white window/base board molding (to frame sheet metal)
  • rosettes (to make window molding look like a frame and a little more dressed up)
  • paint to paint the window molding

We found all of our material and paint, which gave us a grand total of $51.87!!

I already had some leftover paint at home that I used to paint the frame- but most stores have samples you can buy for really cheap and even mark down paint that wasn’t used.

Once we got home, I cleared all of Laney’s toys so hubby could hang the sheet metal. He did this using Loctite construction adhesive (that bad boy isn’t going anywhere!). While the metal dried and adhered to the wall, hubby cut the molding to fit around the metal square size using a miter jig. The molding was 2″ thick so we just overlapped half of it to the metal and the rest the wall. The right and left panels are 34 1/2″ in length. The bottom and the top panels are 20″ in length. This will leave just enough of a gap in each corner- your rosettes go there!

 

Before
Before

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MagneticBoard2

While the metal was drying and adhering to the wall, I painted the molding using chalk paint because it adheres to any material with little to no prep work required.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MagneticBoard3Now that the metal had adhered to the wall and all the molding pieces were dry (I left the rosettes the primed white they came as for a pop of color), we glued the molding first and the rosettes second. We used duct tape to keep everything in place while it dried. (The Loctite adhesive we used required a 24 hour cure time-this will vary depending on what product you go with, or if you use adhesive at all). We only let it cure for about 12 hours and it was solid.

This is how our magnetic wall board turned out!!

 

 

 

 

Overall this was a fairly easy shopping spree as all needed materials are readily kept in stock. The only tool that you may not have lying around wood be the jig- but those are fairly inexpensive tool and cool to have in the garage! The actual set up time was done while Laney was sleeping so the adhering process and drying time of the paint was not compromised.

She absolutely loves playing on her board and am so happy we decided to make this for her- not only can she used it for her dolls, she can practice her numbers, letters and colors as well as use the board to hang her art!

 

I have an eye for seeing the problems others might miss. If you have some trouble areas in your kitchen or bath contact us and we will help you locate and find the perfect solutions.