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Sex Up your Kitchen with Matte Black

In the fashion world, black always has an air of hipness and sophistication, as in the ubiquitous “little black dress”.  Now, in kitchens and home decor, matte black is all the rage, it’s neutral but also works as a stunning accent when used sparingly.   


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The Big Move Part VII: An Unwelcome Visitor

The Big Move is a video series documenting the experience of downsizing from our family home in the suburbs to a condo by the Intracoastal. If you’d like to binge watch episodes I-VI you can start here.

Since I’ve been deluged (only slightly) with inquiries from my adoring fans who are wondering if The Big Move is adrift and floundering in limbo, I present Part VII.  Yes, the saga continues and it’s not done yet. As we speak, upper cabinets are being installed in the kitchen.  

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The Best of Jenn-Air: My Top 3 Picks

It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks in my little “kitchen designer world”.  Earlier this month I made a quick trip to the World of Whirlpool in Chicago to learn, in depth,  about  their premium Jenn-Air line of appliances.  Jenn-Air has been around a long time but has recently been reinvented to compete with the luxury brands.  Overall the line is very impressive and I could go on and on but today I thought I’d share with you my top 3 favorites. Read more



The needs of children can be easy to overlook when designing a new kitchen. If you are contemplating a remodel and you have small children or grandchildren you should think about ease of maintenance, user friendliness and above all safety.

Beware of sharp points. Soften sharp corners on countertops with angles or curves. Remember, if it’s at your hip level, it’s at a child’s head level.
Don’t place glass doors below the counter, where small ones can break the glass. Even if you use glass door inserts for upper cabinets be sure to use tempered glass which will cost a little more but won’t shatter in the event of breakage.
Also avoid open display shelves below the counter. It’s an invitation to curious toddlers,making them more trouble than they’re worth (the shelves, that is).

Vinyl or wood flooring are kinder on the chef’s legs and feet—and on falling children.
Select finishes that are easy to clean. Stainless steel is not kid-friendly, as it easily shows the little ones’ fingerprints and smudges. However if this is the look you want consider using a model such as the GE CleanSteel which has a stainless-steel look that, unlike true stainless, resists fingerprints and accepts magnets. Kenmore, Whirlpool and LG also make similar models.

A lower cabinet devoted to storing plastic cups, bowls, lunch boxes, snacks or other items that your children need to get to on their own is a great kid-user idea. A lightweight stool that is easily accessible can make all the difference when it’s time to reach the counter. You can even install a step stool in the toekick space under a cabinet. However, if bending to access your stool doesn’t appeal to you check out the Ultraslim Aluminum Step Stool from Williams-Sonoma. It is lightweight, has plastic feet to protect floors and opens with a fingertip push. Best of all it folds to a mere 1 ¾” deep for easy storage.

Last but not least don’t forget you can install locks on cabinets that are off limits as well as safety covers on electrical outlets. Next post: English charm in Palm Beach

Photo from PLUS IT! Family Activities for Kids: Promote Learning, Family Literacy

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