Category: Kitchen Guides

Finish the School-Lunch-Prep Chaos

My family is currently in countdown mode for the big back-to-school sendoff. While my two kids are fretting over choosing their ideal school supplies and outfits, I’ve been dreading the thought of returning to the daily grind of preparing school lunches.

I’m not fond of what the school cafeteria functions and prefer packing the children’s lunches myself. Ironically, the seemingly straightforward process has caused me endless grief, what with the mishmash of lunch box stuff scattered all over our kitchen. It’s like a bad comedy played out each weekday morning, wherein I am running around in my robe trying to find all of the carelessly placed pieces.

This season I’ve vowed to stop the lunch-making madness once and for all by means of a bona fide lunch management system. I’ve taken over a cabinet centrally situated between the fridge and the fruit screen. This embarrassingly straightforward solution took me 20 minutes to implement, and the results will save loads of time in the weeks to come.

Rollout trays let me retrieve lunch prep substances, including newly purchased lunch boxes which we’ve paired with older (and still functioning) parts from last year’s Bento-Ware Notebook lunch boxes. Our stainless steel Klean Kanteen collection has served us well over the past four decades of school lunches, and with fresh new sport caps, so they will keep doing so for years to come.

The base drawer contains my backup materials for when the children inevitably forget their lunch boxes in school.

I am happy to say I’ve finally learned to utilize only things that could go in the dishwasher every night or, in the instance of those lunch bags from Target made of wet-suit material, at the washing machine in the close of the week.

Heirloom Design Build

Space is key. We’d all be so lucky if we had this 5-foot-wide by two1/2-foot-deep pantry by Heirloom Design Build to operate with each morning. Heck, every child could have a shelf devoted to their own lunch box and accessories.

For a lot of us this may be impossible, but the key ingredients here are the tall, open shelves and sliding baskets. The shelving height accommodates a variety of lunch box and water bottle peaks, as well as tall cracker and cereal boxes so they can stand upright.

Sliding baskets of varying dimensions, like those from Sidelines, are fantastic for wrangling water bottle covers, Tupperware shirts, paper bags and plastic baggies. The best feature of this pantry, though, is its ability to be shut off.

Organization is everything. But let us say there is not an abundance of space on your current kitchen. Or the space can not be shut off. In both of these scenarios, baskets, like this rattan type, are a fantastic remedy for keeping lunch containers and their accoutrements in one contained place.

Baskets allow clean but still moist containers to dry overnight. Even in the event that you don’t have enough time to wash lunch boxes every day, mold will not grow as fast in open spaces.

Charmean Neithart Interiors

Keep it fairly. If you are working with open shelving, disguise its utilitarian purpose with a background that is calming amidst the lunch preparation insanity. Designer and contributor Charmean Neithart additional this calming print from Joseph Abboud for Kravet behind drifting custom shelves.

Fruit stored farmer’s-market-style supplies pops of color against the silent blue-gray backdrop.

Tommy Hein Architects

Pullouts are priceless. If you are remodeling a pantry to fit your lunch prep needs, consider adding pullout wire racks. Like baskets, they also allow lunch parts to dry out overnight. Unlike baskets, they let you see everything without any obstructions. There’s no losing Tupperware shirts in any recesses.

Just how can you plan to manage your lunch-box system this past year?

Browse lunch and bento boxes at the Products section

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Install Your Kitchen Sink for How You Like to Cook Clean

Once you’ve decided on the material to your next kitchen sink, you will want to determine what sort of installation to perform. There are four basic classes of sink mounting types:
Apron front sinks, also known as a farmhouse sinks, have a wide, exposed front border and are often quite wide and deep. Undermount sinks get attached to the bottom of the countertop for a clean appearance. Drop-in sinks are set up at the top of or over the countertop. Integral sinks are created from precisely the same substance as the counter tops, frequently manufactured as a seamless unit within the countertop.Usually aesthetics and price rule this decision. Drop-in sinks have a tendency to be the most budget-friendly because you can easily install yourself in an affordable laminate countertop. Undermount and apron front sinks often require professional installation and can only be mounted to a sturdy and non-porous countertop material, which can add significant cost to the project. Integral sinks are generally the most expensive kind, due to the price of this material and manufacture. Read on for more information and illustrations of each to help you make your selection.

Gage Homes Inc..

Apron Front or Farmhouse Style

These charming countertops are right at home in traditional or cottage-style kitchens using their vulnerable fronts and possible for cosmetic detailing. Apron front sinks are generally wider, deeper and heavier than another sink types, so they require no less than a 36-inch-wide sink cupboard. The sink cabinet must also have the ability to accommodate the apron front.

Rick & Cindy Black Architects

Obviously, apron front sinks are not just for old-world or farmhouse-style kitchens. There are lots of stunning modern versions of this apron front sink available today, like the brushed stainless steel beauty pictured here. Additionally, while these sinks have have one bowl, they also arrive in split, two-bowl versions.

These are certainly attractive countertops, but if you are thinking about installing one in your kitchen there are a few issues to remember. I’ve heard a few complaints about how easy it’s to inadvertently break a dish or glass contrary to the apron when planning to place the item in the sink.

Furthermore, if you go for a stainless steel or aluminum version, be aware that the apron could get scratched up out of contact with belt buckles or metal buttons onto your jeans. And, unless it’s set up as an undermount (together with the countertop extending across the sink border), there will be a seam between the sink and countertop, where moisture and gunk could collect.

McClellan Architects


That really is my favored mounting kind for a sink. I like the clean appearance, not to mention the easy-to-clean design. It’s possible to undermount a sink to any sturdy, non-porous counter tops, including natural stone, concrete, quartz and solid surfacing. I have heard of successful applications to wood countertops, but extra care needs to be taken to protect the timber. There are also laminate countertop manufacturers that claim you can undermount a sink to their material. Talk with your countertop retailer to see if this is an option for you.

Trueform Concrete

Based on your individual undermount sink, you might have some options regarding the show — or how much or little of the top of the sink is visible just below the inner edge of the countertop. I tend to prefer a no-reveal, or zero-reveal, look — just a sleek, straight fall from the countertop to the sink. This makes the sink and surrounding countertop space super easy to wash, as there is no ledge for food particles to collect in. You can even specify a “negative show” where the countertop extends across the edge of the sink.

I think that a slight negative show –⅛ inch or less — is nice, but any more than that and you run the danger of breaking dishes onto the eyebrow of the countertop as you lift them out of the sink. I would also be wary about not being able to see and keep the water-tight seal between the sink and countertop — it can be tricky to view with a negative show.

OLSON LEWIS + Architects


This is a favorite sink design for people on a strict budget, for those installing a sink within a porous countertop body substance (such as wood or laminate) or people looking to repurpose a vintage sink or receive a vintage appearance.

This type of sink is set up over the countertop, to a cutout, then sealed around the border where the sink meets the countertop. The obvious downside to some drop-in sink is that the increased lip makes it increasingly difficult to wash food particles directly into the sink, as possible with an undermount sink.

Highline Partners, Ltd

Where undermount sinks have a clean, minimalist feel, drop-in sinks are extremely charming and operate nicely in rustic or farmhouse-style kitchens. Similar to apron front sinks, drop-in sinks might be real eye-catching decorative element in kitchen.



If you’d rather your kitchen sink mix in, and you are installing stone, metal, solid surface or quartz countertops, consider using an integral sink fabricated. Your countertop fabricator simply creates a sink utilizing the countertop material. The look is quite smooth and clean — perfect for a modern kitchen.


Here’s a close-up of a integral sink. These sinks have no nooks and crannies for food particles to collect in, making cleanup a breeze.

Solid Form Fabrication

An integral sink is just one of the more expensive mounting types since these sinks are often custom designed and fabricated. You are paying for the raw material as well as fabrication and installation, which is pricey. However, for those who have the budget for this, it’s certainly an appealing option.

More: Guides to kitchen sink materials and styles

Tell us, kitchen fans: What type of sink installation do you like best?

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Kitchen Workbook: 8 Components of an Kitchen

The allure of a Asian-style kitchen lies in its basic sense of serenity, spiced with a bit of the exotic. Materials with a strong connection to nature, harmonious and smooth lines, and an unexpected surprise or two add up to some distance that exudes peace and balance yet whispers of an inherent strength. Here is the way to interpret the appearance for your kitchen.

More kitchen style guides

MN Builders

Balance and harmony. The Asian aesthetic puts a strong emphasis on harmony, in terms of substances in addition to design. Pay attention to balancing visual elements such as color, weight and form. Inside this kitchen the dark range hood offsets the staircase, and the milder ceiling beams echo the cabinetry.

LisaLeo layouts

Organic substances. Surfaces using a connection to the earth feel most at home in Asian-style kitchens. Consider forests, subdued stone as well as butcher block. More modern materials, such as glass or concrete, have a location here as well, but be sure to balance them with organic ones so the kitchen does not feel cold or unpleasant.

Gaspar’s Construction

Elements from nature. Asian layout puts a strong emphasis on bringing the outside inside through crops and organic themes. Look at adding touches of glass or acrylic that has bamboo, grasses or leaves embedded inside it, like in the shoji screen–style panels that entrance this kitchen window. You might also line cabinet panels with split bamboo stalks or include potted bamboo plants or wheatgrass to infuse the area with a sense of life.

Mark Brand Architecture

Minimalist design. Asian interiors are about simplicity, and that has the kitchen. An Asian-style kitchen ought to feel serene and understated. Keep the design sleek and streamlined, without the visual mess to interrupt the sight lines. A galley kitchen, as shown above, works especially well, but any setup could be successful as long as it’s a smooth stream.

John Lum Architecture, Inc.. AIA

Straightforward cabinetry. Cabinetry in an Asian-style kitchen has clean lines and has no ornamentation. Some cabinets have a Shaker-like quality, while others are frameless. Keep hardware minimal and crisp to fit.

MN Builders

Spectacular comparison. Asian kitchens often feature an element of play, such as the black fridge panels against the pale cabinetry of this area. Look at adding an unexpected element to ignite the room: a bit of gilt, an unusually shaped staircase, a statement light fixture.

Melinamade Interiors

Natural flooring. Flooring in an Asian-style kitchen feels warm and organic. Bamboo is a fail-safe choice, but consider slate or another natural stone as well. Exotic hardwoods also appear appropriate.

Clarke Appliance Showrooms

Dabs of crimson. Red is a strongly symbolic color in several Asian cultures, signifying happiness, fantastic luck and auspicious beginnings. Though Asian décor tends toward the monochromatic, a few hints of bold color can energize a kitchen done in this style. Limit them to small accents such as dishware to prevent disturbing the serene feel.

East Meets West: Including Asian Style into some Modern Home

5 Homes Full of Far Eastern Influences

9 Elements of Asian Design

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