Sunday, September 9, 2018

Bar Stool Finds

A frequent question I am asked is "Where can I buy bar stools?" Below is a list of places where I have found great stools. Note: when looking for stools, make sure you are ordering the correct height. If your island top is 36" tall, you will need counter stools. If your bar top is 42" tall, you will need bar stools. Make sure you order the right ones! Also, allow about a 2' wide space for each stool. So if your island is 6' long, I would order 3 stools. If your island is 7' long, I would still order 3 stools.  You might be able to squeeze one more stool in a 7' island, depending on the size of the stool, but better to have to order one more than have too many.

-Pottery Barn
-West Elm
-Restoration Hardware
-Williams Sonoma Home
-World Market
-Pier 1
-TJ Maxx
-Crate & Barrel
-Ballard Designs

There are many options to consider when choosing a stool. Do you want a back, should it swivel, do you want a single base or 4 legs? All important considerations to take into account depending on your family age, lifestyle and space available. These are the most common places I purchase bar stools from. Do you have another great source? I'd love to hear about it! Email me at

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Holiday Projects

            School has started, football season is near, the weather is teasing us with glimpses of fall temperatures and, yes, it is time to start thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas. Only seventeen weeks left till Christmas. Yes, I really did just say that. It may seem like a long time away, but we all know that it will be here before we know it and probably before we are ready.

I am not one to rush thru the days in anticipation of the next one, but I am for planning and organizing so I can enjoy every day. Ready or not, the holidays are upon us. As this realization hits, we start to make a mental or written list of all the things we need and want to do before the holidays are actually here. Maybe you just found out that your home will be the location of this years Thanksgiving or Christmas celebration and your broken oven just wont cut it for baking those cookies.  Do you want a new kitchen or bathroom before Thanksgiving? Maybe you cant redo the entire room but want to make some small changes. Or maybe you just want to finally get the dining room repainted or new carpet in your bedroom. Now is the time to start thinking about it and making plans. If you begin now, you will have plenty of time to get your project done before Thanksgiving hits and then you can enjoy your new space all throughout the Christmas season. Its no secret that contractors are busy these days. (And if they arent, is there a reason for that?) Even more of a reason to start now in order to get something done before the holidays. First question to ask your contractor is Can you complete this before Thanksgiving/Christmas? If they cant, no sense stressing about it. Dont be surprised if they are already booked for the rest of the year.  Just get on their calendar for January or February.

Before you start to panic and hyperventilate, take a deep breath and lets take a realistic look at the calendar. Depending on the amount and magnitude of work that you want to do in your kitchen or bathroom, you can expect a remodel to take anywhere from three to six weeks from demo to final cleanup. If you start your planning and decision making now, you can realistically have a new kitchen or bathroom by Thanksgiving. Consult with the professionals who will be completing this work for you and they will be able to give you a better idea of the time needed to complete your project. Whatever you do, DO NOT plan to wrap up your remodeling project the day before company is expected to arrive. Something might be backordered or take longer than expected and then you will really be up a creek without a paddle or eating your Christmas dinner at Waffle House. The holidays are hectic enough without adding that little bit of stress.

As you consider who will be doing the work for you, make sure they have a good reputation, are doing what they say and completing projects in a timely manner. Check their references and dont let the bottom line make the decision for you. Sometimes there is a reason one person is less expensive than another. The holidays are not a time to risk having issues with a contractor. Make sure you clearly communicate your deadline to the contractors you work with to ensure an on-time project. That way there will be no surprises and everyone is on the same page.

We all know the holidays can be a stressful time. There are parties to attend or host, food to be prepared, gifts to be wrapped and memories to be made with your family and friends. Endeavor to enjoy this season and all of its wonderful food, people and events by planning ahead. Take time to slow down and remember that this is the most wonderful time of the year.

Email me at and let me know if you have any questions regarding holiday projects.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Product Review: Touch Faucets

One of my favorite new inventions in the kitchen and bath industry are touch faucets. Most every faucet manufacturer makes a faucet like this these days. Made for both the kitchen and bathroom, you don’t have to give up style for function. Typically they work by turning the handle to on and then tapping it on the spout or body for it to come on and then tapping it again for it to turn off. The water temperature is controlled by the on off handle so set your temperature before you need the water.

The touch function is great when you are cooking and have raw meat juice on your hands or hands covered in dough. Simply tap the faucet with your clean forearm and everything stays nice and clean.  Once you have the opportunity to use a touch faucet, you will not want to go back!

Touch faucets are powered by batteries or being plugged into an outlet. Battery operated units last for over 2-5 years depending on the battery your use. The original touch faucets could be glitchy, but most every one we install today doesn’t have any problems. Touch faucets cost slightly more than a regular faucet, but are well worth it in my opinion.

Do you have a touch faucet? What has your experience been? I’d love to hear.  Email me at

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Gas vs Induction

One of the fastest rising technologies in kitchens today are induction cooktops. There are pros and cons to each type of cooking surface and today we will explore those together.

Style: A gas cooktop can look very professional or it can be more streamlined for a cleaner look. Induction cooktops are a smooth glass top that are very clean and modern in appearance.

Cleaning: An induction cooktop is much easier to clean as it is a smooth piece of glass vs the gas cooktop that is a stainless basin with steel metal grates set on top of it.

Heat Precision:  Gas cooktops have progressed well over the years in their ability to precisely control heat. Both gas and induction do this well.

Safety: Since induction generates heat in the pot and not on the surface of the unit, the residual heat on the surface once a pot is removed is minimal. The steel grate on a gas cooktop can stay hot for a while after cooking has ended.  Also, a gas cooktop has an open flame while an induction cooktop generates heat via a magnetic induction. Induction cooktops have a safety lock feature preventing them from being accidentally turned on.

Do you have a preference in cooking surfaces? Are you deciding between the 2? I would highly suggest visiting a showroom that has both, preferably live and working, that you can evaluate side by side. Questions? Email me at

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Shower Benches

If you are having your shower remodeled or considering building a new house, one question you need to answer is “Do I need a bench in my shower?” There are several different types of benches you could have in a shower, but why do you need a bench? A bench is helpful if you need to shave your legs, wash your feet, just need to sit down or have a broken foot and aren’t able to stand in the shower for much time.  Below are a couple of options to consider.

1 .Built in bench-whether this stretches wall to wall in your shower or is a triangular corner bench, this permanent structure is often tiled to match the rest of your shower. You have great flexibility over the size of this bench and it is very sturdy. It can be a collecting point for shampoo bottles so make sure you also have a built in niche to wrangle those items.

2. Fold Down Bench-often times made out of teak wood, this bench is mounted to the wall with metal brackets and can fold up against the wall and out of the way. This is especially great if you don’t have much space to work with. Typically these benches can hold 220 pounds. They can be a great aesthetic addition to your space.

3.  Freestanding Bench- a moveable piece of furniture this can be made out of plastic or teak and can be moved around the shower and taken in and out of the space giving you the most flexibility.

4. Foot prop-maybe you don’t have space or need for a full blown bench, but would like a small shelf to prop your foot on to clean or shave your legs. Small corner shelves can be mounted down low, approx.. 14-18” off of the floor and are perfect for that need.

What have you found to be the best solution for your space? Do you have any other ideas for benches? I’d love to hear.  Email me at

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Quartz Countertops FAQ’s

Quartz countertops continue to enjoy a rise in popularity and manufacturers keep coming up with more and more beautiful options. Below are some questions I am frequently asked.

1.      Can I set hot pots or pans directly on the countertop? While the manufacturers do not recommend setting hot things directly on the countertop, many homeowners have without incident.

2.      Is it stain resistant? Yes, most manufacturers claim their products are stain resistant and are easily cleaned with a mild cleaner like 409. Do not use abrasive products or pads on the countertop.

3.      Can I cut directly on the countertop? Manufacturers suggest using a cutting board, but again, many end users have cut directly on it without any trouble.

4.      Will it chip? There are conflicting comments out there about this. Some people have reported chips on the edges or sink areas. If this happens to you, check your warranty.

All in all, quartz countertops are fantastic and I would not hesitate to use them anywhere. Do you have quartz tops in your kitchen or bath? Have you experienced any of the above issues? I’d love to hear. Email me at

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Garbage Disposal Air Switch

Do you have a garbage disposal on your kitchen sink? Do you turn it on with a switch in the wall or in the cabinet underneath your kitchen sink? A counter mounted air switch is a great alternative.  What exactly is an air switch?

Made by InSinkErator, the sink top air switch is a convenient alternative to a wall switch. Ideal for island installations where you don’t have a wall nearby, this switch is air-activated and easily mounts to the counter top or cabinet face. Just press the switch and a blast of air travels to the module below to turn on the disposal. Press it again and it stops. The SinkTop Switch can be used with any disposal. Not only is this an ideal use for islands, it also attractive and a great way to get a switch out of your tile backsplash.

Keep this great accessory in mind. It can be added to your existing countertop at any time. Questions? Contact me at