What’s cooking? The microwave decision

Microwave in custom cabinetSince the 70’s, the microwave oven has been an American household staple and for many people it is the primary way that they cook, defrost and reheat food. However, microwaves are not especially attractive so careful planning and placement of this go-to, time saver are key when creating the kitchen of your dreams.

Different types of microwaves are available to complement a variety of kitchen styles so your designer will help you select the placement and walk you through the decision-making process to choose the right unit. What you decide about placement will also affect the type of appliance you choose but, generally, your choices are between setting the microwave on the countertop, mounting it over the range, setting it into cabinetry or having one built-in.

Microwave drawer sampleTo enhance the beauty of the kitchen, many re-modelers are choosing to put the microwave into the island by designing the cabinetry to hold a traditional microwave underneath the countertop or installing a microwave drawer. Although this might be a new concept (and test your sense of tradition) there isn’t a lot of bending involved in using a microwave in the island. Controls for a microwave drawer are easily accessible and, for safety, it makes sense to lift food up a few inches onto your countertop instead of reaching up into a microwave to bring hot foods down toward you before carrying them to a safe landing zone.

If a traditional microwave isn’t for you (but you still want to be able to cook and reheat foods quickly), you have some choices that might work better for your kitchen.

Microwave convection combo ovenConvection/microwave combo ovens are a mix of microwave technology and heat energy, so they can brown, roast and grill. They also have a heating element in addition to a fan that aides in the circulation of hot air. This means that you get the quick, internal heating of microwave technology combined with heat that keeps the outside crispy (or whatever consistency the food should have). A microwave-only unit sometimes makes food soggy or rubbery so you can tell it has been heated that way.

Steam ovenAnother option is to select a steam oven. These can be used to steam, reheat, bake, defrost or to cook so they are extremely versatile. You can even cook rice in them. They take a little longer than a microwave but the condition of the food when it is finished is incredible. If you are reheating leftovers it will be hard to tell that they are leftovers after being heated in a steam oven. Also, because of the many features this appliance offers, you can set the oven and walk away from foods that would traditionally take more effort to create. A steam oven is a wonderful tool and a viable choice for replacing or adding as a companion to a traditional microwave oven. If you are remodeling your kitchen it is worth taking the time to look into the benefits of this type of oven.

call button small croppedWhen planning your kitchen don’t forget to ponder the importance of selecting the right quick-cooking appliance and think about choosing to place it in a convenient location that doesn’t distract from the look of your new kitchen. Perry Newman Design clients get educated on their microwave options and all their appliance selections. Plus, they get someone to walk them through every step of the planning, selection and construction process. Perry Newman Design guides you through your home renovation project from conception, through construction, to completion in less time than you imagine. Call 801.971.0868 today and experience the peace of mind that comes from letting someone else take care of getting all the little details right.

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Three ways to elevate your design by utilizing texture

Sample room with wood, stone and other textured elements.

Sample room with wood, stone, fabric, metal and other textured elements.

Texture is an important element to elevating design. To achieve a designer finish, Perry Newman advises “stay within your palette and use lots of textures for interest.” Utilizing different textures can help create the perception of a feeling, balance the room by weight or contrast and add interest while highlighting a focal point. Proper, careful placement and use of a variety of textures can lead the eye through a room and create the desired ambiance. Here are three suggestions to making the best use of texture:

 

  • Sample room with brick, wood, glass and metal textures.

    Sample room with brick, wood, glass, plant and metal textures.

    Texture adds dimension and different moods can be achieved through selecting the right combination (even while staying within the colors in your palette). For example, rough textures feel warm because they do not reflect as much light as a smooth surface. They also have a rustic vibe, while smooth textures seem more modern and feel cooler because they reflect more light. A bold texture creates depth and enhances the feeling of warmth. Movement and tranquility can be achieved by repeating shapes and patterns (the way being near water and seeing the ripples on a pond can soothe and mellow a person’s emotions). Unity and integrity can be conveyed by matching borders on different elements in the room. Playing with textures can strike any mood between creating drama or giving the impression of a relaxing, faraway place.

 

  • Texture on shower wall

    Adding texture to accent a plain white wall gives an upscale, luxury feel without adding any color at all.

    Different finishes (smooth, matte, course, fine, etc.) can add interest and depth to a neutral room, keeping it timeless but making it homey and livable. When placing objects in the design consider whether the texture offers a visual or tactile experience or both. The more bold or rough a texture is, the heavier the piece will appear. Smoother or shiny textures look lighter and can be used for contrast. Utilizing texture to make features in the room appear heavy or lighter provides an opportunity to balance the room or create imbalance and angst, depending on the look a designer is striving to achieve.

 

  • Finally, consider placement and selection of textured objects to combine into an appealing overall concept. Things like tree branches, wood, textiles, draperies, art or brick can be altered to stand out as a focal point or blend in to conform. For example, a brick wall left as it is may be a feature in the room but painted a neutral color it fades away, offering the interest of the brick texture, but not detracting from the carefully placed focal point. Natural elements that are incorporated into the design add an appealing, earthy feel. Things like plants, sisal, wood, etc. are elements to consider incorporating for added interest.

 

 

texture sample room with horse art

Sample room displays texture of glass, brick, sisal rug, fabrics, stone, metal, plants and wood.

Perry Newman says an easy way to bring texture into a design is carefully selecting fabrics on the furniture but a less expensive alternative is to choose different fabrics on throw pillows. Remember that adding a variety of trims and fringes adds interest. The same is true for draperies and art. Just stick to your palette plus white, black and grey. If you would like a designer eye to help make your texture choices, the professionals at Perry Newman Design can help you take your home renovation project from conception, through construction, to completion. Call Perry today at 801.971.0868 or fill in the contact form at perrynewmandesign.com.

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