Undercounter Refrigeration – What to Know

The newest kitchen trend is about functionality as much as it's about style. Homeowners are opting to add undercounter refrigerators to their design plans. Undercounter refrigerators have been used commercially for years, but lately, they've started showing up in residential kitchens. There are options for every budget and designs to match every style.

How Will You Use Your New Undercounter Refrigerator?

There are several different types of undercounter refrigerators available. Homeowners should choose one that best fits with their lifestyle and compliments their design choices.

Refrigerators

If you're always running out of space in your full-size refrigerator, then an undercounter refrigerator might be the right choice for you. Many homeowners install these refrigerators in kitchen islands, so ingredients can be stored near the food prep area. Parents also love these smaller refrigerators to store drinks and snacks for their kids.

Wine Cellars

Different wines need to be stored at different temperatures. Connoisseurs of fine wine will appreciate the undercounter wine cellar's dual temperature zones, vibration dampening racks and doors that eliminate ultraviolet light.

Beverage Centers

In addition to having two temperature zones, beverage centers have shelving that holds food, drinks and wine. This makes them great for homeowners who like to entertain. The internal temperature of beverage centers can range from 35 to 65 degrees.

Built-In Versus Freestanding Units

You have probably seen freestanding compact refrigerators before. They're commonly used in restaurants and cafes. Freestanding units cannot be placed between countertops because of the location of their condenser.

Built-in undercounter refrigerators can be placed under counters and between cabinets. The refrigerator doors can also be designed to match the look of your cabinets, providing a seamless look.

Refrigeration Isn't Just for Kitchens

Undercounter refrigerators aren't just being used in kitchens. Thanks to their compact design, stylish appearance and affordability they are showing up in every room of the house.

Indoor-Outdoor Living

Are you dreaming of creating the perfect deck or patio? How amazing would it be to have an outdoor kitchen? Store steaks for the grill, or ingredients for the perfect mojito, in an outdoor undercounter refrigerator.

Great for Entertaining

Turn your dry bar into a wet bar with an undercounter refrigerator. Whether you're hosting a Super Bowl party or a wine tasting, a conveniently placed undercounter refrigerator allows hosts to interact with guests, instead of spending the evening in the kitchen. Some undercounter refrigerators even come with icemakers.

Perfect for In-Law Suites

Create a functional kitchenette with undercounter refrigeration. Some families are even installing compact refrigerators in bedrooms to limit the amount of time elderly loved ones have to go up and down stairs.

The Hardwood Lowdown - 4 Types of Hardwood Flooring Every Homeowner Should Consider

The Hardwood Lowdown - 4 Types of Hardwood Flooring Every Homeowner Should Consider

When it comes time to choose flooring for your home, the options can be overwhelming. Hardwood floors, however, remain one of the most popular choices in flooring and can even have a significant impact on the resale value of your home. Hardwoods come in a wide variety of colors, styles and textures, however, so there are still many options to choose from. Here are 4 types of hardwood every homeowner should consider when choosing your next flooring options.

1. Unfinished wood flooring
If you want something that is truly unique and individual to your home, you might consider installing unfinished wood flooring. The installers will apply a finishing coat right in your home that gives you an almost unprecedented ability to custom design your floors to match your interior decor. This is particularly valuable if you have an older home with original finishings that you want to match to the flooring. The finish takes time to dry, however, so if you plan on installing unfinished wood flooring you will also need to plan on being away from your home for several days and possibly even a week or more.

2. Solid wood flooring
Solid wood flooring is a solid plank of wood sawn from a single tree. Solid wood flooring is generally the most expensive and also the most long-lasting and durable. It is, however, fairly high maintenance. Solid wood flooring can become nicked, scarred and marred over time, although some homeowners love this "vintage" type of look. To restore floors to their original glory, however, they can be sanded down and refinished. They can also be refinished in a different finish to give them a completely new look.

3. Engineered hardwood
Engineered hardwood floors are made from several layers of material that are pressed together, with a thin layer of real wood on the top. Engineered hardwood floors are generally more durable than solid wood floors and often easier to install. Some engineered hardwoods offer a thick enough top layer that they can still be sanded down and refinished the same way solid wood flooring can, but they will generally need to be replaced sooner than solid wood floors. Conversely, however, solid wood floors have a tendency to buckle and warp due to a change in weather conditions and can be destroyed entirely by flooding. Engineered hardwood is less susceptible to buckling and warping and will weather flooding better as well.

4. Acrylic impregnated wood flooring
This type of flooring is generally best for commercial use, although some homeowners with large families or busy, active homes may prefer it as well. Acrylic impregnated flooring is actually infused with a sealant and colored through the entire thickness of the wood. So, what is normally a surface "finish" is actually consistent throughout the wood. As the wood wears down, it never loses its color or protective finish. This creates an incredibly durable and long-lasting wood floor, with very little maintenance or refinishing required. Unlike solid wood flooring, however, it cannot be sanded down and refinished, since the finish is actually infused into the wood.

7 Backsplash Ideas to Spruce up Your Kitchen

The backsplash adds character and style to the kitchen, taking the room to new levels of sophistication and whimsey. The general appearance, subway tile, can get boring quickly. Luckily, subway tile isn't the only backsplash design available. Get away from the norm and add these inspiriting designs to the backsplash instead.

1. A Chalkboard

Need to write a thought? Stay in the kitchen with a chalkboard backsplash, which offers space for cooks to write recipes, errands, grocery lists, menu items, and random information. In addition, use this space as a food presentation label in case guests don't know what they're eating. It doubles as a drawing board for children. Chalkboards are easy to clean and reuse as needed.

 

2. A Pegboard

Besides the chalkboard, an odd choice for backsplashes is a pegboard. Pegboards are mostly a game and task related item, but it raises the bar as a backsplash. A pegboard backsplash accomplishes two things: decoration and serviceable pieces of storage. Store and retrieve gadgets, utensils, cookbooks, towels, and oven mitts along with non-kitchen items like notes, drawings, and photos by inserting pegs or hooks.

 

3. Nature Patterns

Real or manufactured, stone, brick, or wood as a backsplash are a visually pleasing choice. The natural outdoor elements are appealing and inviting without effort, grounding the zaniest of kitchens. Stone and brick offer rough and bumpy textures to the smooth kitchen appearance while wood offers a smooth, natural elegance to the area. However, use wood backsplashes for kitchens lacking wood cabinets, wood countertops, and wood islands as wood-on-wood can be redundant.

 

4. Stainless Steel

Everyone has heard of stainless steel appliances and cookware because they are the new standard of kitchen items. Few know about stainless steel backsplashes, and it's an interesting choice. Stainless steel is sleek, sharp, and futuristic along with easy cleanup. Against a modern, minimalist, and contemporary design, a stainless steel background thrives. Stainless steel unites a space containing stainless steel appliances too.

 

 

5. Polar Opposite Paint

The kitchen follows one to three different color schemes as the primary colors. For the backsplash, choose a contrasting color not associated with the kitchen color scheme and paint the backsplash that color two times. Seal the paint to keep it shiny and beautiful. The contrasting paint is an instant backsplash, offering a noticeable pop of color and individual vibe.

 

6. Remarkable Wallpaper

The wallpaper used on bedroom and living room walls could double as a backsplash. Wallpaper adds uniqueness and pops of color to a lifeless kitchen. With endless colors, patterns, stripes, shapes, and textures, finding the perfect wallpaper is a journey. In fact, it's effortless to find excellent wallpaper in the desired price range.

 

7. A Focal Point

The backsplash garners the most attention in kitchens similar to how fireplaces and accent walls attract attention in living rooms. Above the cooking range or near the sink should be a photograph, recipe, chalkboard, mosaic, or decorative plate to give the eye something pleasant to view while completing tasks.

 

Incorporating one of seven designs into the kitchen will transform the space immediately. The chalkboard and pegboard are functional backsplashes while the wallpaper, paint, and focal point inject personality. Meanwhile, the stainless steel and nature options are realistic, timeless, and classic. All are worthy conversation pieces that deserve a spot in the kitchen.

5 “en-LIGHT-ening” Fixture Ideas for Your Kitchen

5 “en-LIGHT-ening” Fixture Ideas for Your Kitchen

When it comes to kitchens, sometimes lighting takes a backseat to countertops, cabinets, and flooring. But why? The lighting in your kitchen makes the space! In function and beauty. Without the right lighting, you can't enjoy the colors and veining in that spendy slab of granite you spent two weekends getting just right. Do we even have to mention that it’s nice to actually see what you’re cooking?  Bottom line, you've put a lot of resources and time into choosing the perfect materials everywhere else, unattractive light fixtures will stand out, bringing the entire room down. There are many kinds of fixtures, and each one has its own advantages for certain areas and décor styles.

 

1. Recessed
Lights that are flush with the ceiling, such as recessed lights, offer a soft glow that will enable you to cook and clean in your kitchen. Recessed lights are especially useful in spaces that have low head clearance because they do not take up very much space. Because this type of light fixture is small and subtle, it can go with almost any style or décor, but contemporary and modern styles especially use recessed lighting.

 

2. Pendant
This type of fixture is especially popular over conversation and work areas, such as a kitchen island countertop. They are usually decorative, so they are appealing in open areas that need a small, localized lighting source. This type of lighting is especially popular in kitchens with contemporary décor.

 

3. Chandelier
Chandeliers are a dramatic option for kitchens with tall ceilings since they hang down a foot or more. They provide light for a large portion of the kitchen when they are hung high enough. They also come in a wide variety of styles, but décor styles such as traditional, contemporary, rustic, and old-world style are some popular décor designs that people like to use chandeliers with.

 

4. Track Lighting
One of the benefits of track lighting is that the light sources can be directed according to your needs. Several bulbs with shades come on a track, and each individual light bulb socket with shade can be moved along the track. The direction of the light source can be changed by redirecting the angle of the shade and bulb socket. This type of lighting is often used in contemporary décor.

 

5. Wall Sconces
Fixtures that are attached to the wall work well for lighting small areas. They can highlight a decorative wall, piece of art, or a food prep area. Wall sconce fixtures are also available in models that will suit popular decorating styles such as modern, contemporary, traditional, as well as several others.

 

Many lighting fixtures can help you with task and general lighting. For more information on all of the types of fixtures that work well in a kitchen, contact us. Design Center of Boise has been in the remodeling business for years, and we have the knowledge to help you plan what will work best in your space.