A Place For Everything...

          Regardless of the size of your home, it seems there is never enough storage, especially when there are children involved. Whether they are your kids or grand-kids, they have a lot of “stuff.” I am a mommy to two girls, and it feels like my house is exploding with toys and baby dolls. They have a toy room, yet the toys never seem to stay in the toy room. I know I cannot be the only one with this problem. I love organization, so I have bins for nearly everything from throw blankets and pillows to crayons and markers, but the toy room is one room that is lacking organization.
          A few weeks ago I was designing a play room for a client, I had an “ah-ha” moment for my storage dilemma at my house. If I make the toy room a fun and exciting place for my girls, then maybe they’ll actually keep their toys in this space. Often times the adage “out of sight, out of mind” is true for most people, at least I know it is for me. Currently there are only bins for storing their toys, and a table for them to color, but it isn’t a space that they feel is theirs exclusively. That got me thinking, if children can see their toys then they’re more likely to play with them. Bins alone are not viable storage for children, and even for adults. The designer in me started to analyze their space. I started thinking of how I could design the space for my daughters’ needs, and how they would get the most use out of their toys by creating appropriate storage for their belongings.
          Some things are better left in bins or drawers; however, some things such as their favorite dolls or games would be better suited being displayed on a shelf. Designing this space according to their needs not only makes it feel more like their room, but they actually would enjoy playing in this space and take care of their toys better (maybe). In designing their room, on one wall I put a chalkboard and white board so they can color on the wall but this time it’s in the appropriate place. On another wall I put drawers with open shelving above to store their dolls, Lego masterpieces, games, etc.… The drawers are used for things like crayons and markers, paper, Play-Doh, and toys they don’t play with that often. Since I’ve incorporated this system, the play room has stayed more organized and their toys have rarely left the room.
          Who doesn’t want a room to call their own? We all want a space to call our own, whether it be a man-cave, a craft room or toy room to make our neighbors and friends jealous. I’m going to leave you with a few things to ponder. What would you do differently in your playroom? What would make your man-cave even more incredible? Lastly, what would make your craft space even more productive? Let us know your thoughts!

Written By

-Tara Zadorozny, Designer

 

Living Clean in a Functional Kitchen - By Ben Alexander of Accent Cabinets

About this time last year, I made a decision.  I was done being overweight and unhealthy.  Nearing 29, I knew it was my last shot to be happier and healthier by my 30th birthday. 

 

It’s funny, but when you start paying attention to all of the calories you put into your body, that 1000 calorie burger and fries from your local fast food joint can make you sick.  That being said, nobody can live off Subway sandwiches and McDonalds chicken salads forever, so I found myself in the kitchen…A LOT!

 

Spend enough time in the kitchen and you will learn some things about functional design.  Did you know that a good kitchen designer will design the flow of your kitchen depending on whether you are right or left-handed?  Did you know they will design your kitchen based on how you accomplish various tasks?  I was completely unaware of this.  The dishwasher in my kitchen is to the left of my sink, because as a right-handed person, I hold the dish with my left hand, scrub it with my right, and then put it in the dishwasher.  The storage for my dishes, cutlery, and glasses is all to the left of my dishwasher.  This is because I stand to the left of my dishwasher, reach in with my right hand, and then put the dishes in the cabinet directly in front of me.  When you have somebody who understands these concepts (like the designers at Accent Cabinets) help you configure your kitchen, it will make your kitchen a pleasure to work in.

 

In addition to how a well-designed kitchen will function, I’ve learned a lot about healthy eating and living on my journey as well.  At first, calorie counting was moderately difficult as well as time consuming.  After a while, however, I began to have a good idea of how many calories are in things, how to properly read labels, and I have an app on my smartphone that answers any nutritional questions I have in the blink of an eye.  As any health conscious person will tell you, you are going to spend a lot of time on the perimeter of your grocery store, and you will get into the habit of reading every label. 

 

Fruits, vegetables, and fresh lean proteins are going to be a big part of your diet.  With fruits and vegetables, comes peeling and chopping.  A little side note for my gardeners out there, all the peels and rinds and ends of these fruits and vegetables make an excellent addition to your compost heap.  I also recommend purchasing a vacuum sealer, because throughout the year most grocery stores have spectacular deals on certain kinds of fresh produce and meats that just aren’t available the rest of the year.  For instance, recently I noticed that my local grocer had a spectacular deal on blueberries, so I bought a good amount, froze them, and then vacuum sealed them.  I also came up with this delicious recipe to use some of these beautiful blueberries in a tasteful and artful way.  The recipe is as follows:

 

 

Blueberry – Pineapple Pico De Gallo

 

2 cups fresh pineapple diced

¼ red onion finely chopped

1 handful cilantro finely chopped

1 cup fresh tomato diced

1 cup whole blueberries

2 jalapenos seeded and finely chopped

Juice of 1 lime

1 tbsp olive oil

Tajin seasoning to taste

 

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and season with Tajin to your own personal preference.  ENJOY!!!!

 Blueberry - Pineapple Pico De Gallo

Blueberry - Pineapple Pico De Gallo