Top 6 Kitchen Accessories

iPad Holder: Recipes have and will forever be passed down in written form. But today rather than grabbing pen and paper we cross our fingers, eyes, and toes with the promise of e-mailing the mouth watering recipe later. Foodies follow blogs like Love & Lemons, i am food blog and The Broken Bread. They save favorited recipes on apps like Pinterest and Paprika. There are a plethora of iPad holder’s that make accessing e-mails, texts, blogs, and apps (therefore cooking) in your kitchen effortless. We love the Belkin Chef Stand and Stylus for Tablets from Amazon.  It’s $32 and has an ultra-grippy rubber surface that keeps your tablet secure.  The stylus, that comes with your holder, is a clever addition enabling you to keep your screen clean, not to mention keeping your food germ free. The stand and wand are also hand-washable and case compatible. 

Spice Rack: Dean & Delucca has designed a stylish way of housing your favorite herbs and spices.  Arranged in clear test tubes, corked at the top to keep them fresh.  Best yet they come with spices filled, with names atop the cork and each sit in a secure position on a metal stand.  There is also a handy spoon to scoop your spices and herbs into whatever dish you are making and whenever you run out of something you can just call Dean & Delucca customer service. You have two choices, 40 tubes for $175 (this comes with everything you could possible desire including herbs for fish, curry powder blend, rosemary, sage, french tarragon, juniper berries and more).  The other option is 21 tubes for $105 which will provide you with fresh and seasonal herbs that are also vegetarian, healthy, flavorful and unique.

Knife Block: This is an eco-friendly, bacteria resistant, bamboo knife block that is a number one best seller. It holds 10-15 knives, that conveniently sits in your drawer rather than occupying precious counter space like traditional or old-style knife blocks. This is also a safer idea if you have kids running around the house. The curved design allows for two levels of knives to be positioned in a row and you can find this on Amazon for $20, designed by Shenzhen Knives and labeled ‘In-Drawer Bamboo Knife Block’. 

Utensil Holder: Rather than having a chaotic drawer crammed with spatulas, scissors and other cooking tools, consider a buying a utensil jar.  You can buy these practically everywhere you just want to make sure there is a large opening at the top and that it blends with your kitchen decor. William-Sonoma designs a French porcelain jar with a white glazed finish. Its high-fired ceramic, chip resistant and you’re looking at spending $30 for this piece. You can also find something less expensive in a wide array of sparky colors like this red, ribbed, ceramic, utensil crock from Bed Bath & Beyond.  This is both eye catching, inexpensive ($9.99) and quite useful. You may also consider finding a jar and restoring it yourself-- check Pinterest for DIY ideas.

Coffee Maker: We know this is not a new idea to you, a ‘coffee maker’, but have you seen the Chemex, heat-resistant, glass, one-piece vessel? We were pretty impressed too. Place ground coffee in the cone-shaped filter at the top and pour hot water over it.  Clear, pure coffee will then drip into the glass vase and boy does it taste good! You can clean using the unbleached filter squares (which are sold separately) or by swishing hot water and soap, allowing the glass to dry upside down on a clean kitchen towel.  The polished wood collar and leather tie serves as an insulated handle.  You can purchase a 3-cup to 10-cup maker and price will depend upon size. We like the 6-cup which sells on William-Sonoma for $36.95. Be sure to read the reviews online, this a hot product right now.

Paderno Spiralizer: All hail the spiralizer! This four blade, compact and collapsable design allows for easy storage and it makes incredible and artisanal spiral cuts, shoestrings and ribbon ‘noodles’.  This is great for pasta, stir fries, salad and we love that it features a BPA-free plastic construction.  The device includes four stainless-steel blades, an angel-hair shredder, chipper, fine shredder, straight blade and pin accessory that creates an accordion cut. You can purchase this online for $50! Kick things off with a zucchini pasta, with mint pesto, and we are sure you won’t disappoint:

1 cup of firmly packed fresh mint leaves

1/3 cup of vegetable stock or canned broth

3 tbs. of grated asiago cheese, plus extra for garnish (optional)

2 large garlic clovers, cut up

2 tsp. of olive oil

3 yellow summer squashes, about 3/4 lb. total

1/4 cup chopped shallot

1 1/2 tsp. of dried thyme

salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

(Use your spiralizer to cut your yellow squash and zucchini into long, narrow, ribbons). Recipe is courtesy of William Sonoma Magazine.

Small Kitchen? How to Maximize Your Space

In 2013, the director or the United Nation’s Human Settlement Program announced 3.5 billion people across the globe live in cities. Even more fascinating, this number will grow 2.5 to 3 billion by 2050. So when we talk about maximizing small kitchens we synonymously are speaking of survival skills for many of you folks, here’s what we’ve found:

Color: Lighter hues will brighten up your kitchen space and make it feel larger than it really is. Studio apartments in New York City for example can be a five step walk from your bed to bathroom, with a slight pivot to then exit the studio.  You may even be able to reach from your bed to your kitchenette but if you are color conscious this space can appear much larger. Think of whites, creams, lilac or mauve--you don’t have to get entirely feminine and shabby chic but light colors on the walls and floor do wonders for a small space.  To create unity, use different shades of the same color for your wall, rug, art, and even kitchen accessories.

Counter Space: Declutter, repeat three times, it’s that important! Your counter top space needs to be for the essentials only: coffee maker, utensil jar, juicer, toaster, whatever you use the most. This requires that you make optimal use of cabinet space. If you have drawers that do not open you may consider a quick DIY day that calls for a drill, pencil and level.  Click here for a how to guide, you’ll be able to fit sponges, brushes, and soap here. It’s not much but it’s all in the detail!  If you have the money to spend on a multiple-shelf unit is a smart move for standard, front access cabinets.  This way you have layers of organized shelving that conveniently pulls out, after all you can only stack so many things.  For the cabinet space under your sink, you may be limited due to plumbing parts but door racks that house cleaning supplies, two rows worth, are a savvy invention.  Hanging hooks for tea/coffee cups can also save you valuable cabinet space. You may consider the same for measuring cups on the inside drawers of upper shelving! The Family Handyman has a great DIY tutorial here.  As Houzz says quite elegantly, you need to learn how to ‘work the walls’.  A coat of chalk board paint inside your cabinet door can help you keep track of your market list, recipes, or your calendar. Invest in a pot rack, this is huge for space saving. Last, forgo the old-fashioned knife block and check out our in drawer recommendation here. This will only take up half of your drawer space so you’ll still have room for silverware.

Multi Purpose Items: An ottoman to prop up your feet after a long day, that serves as extra sitting space when company is over but also opens up to store blankets, books, magazines and more? Genius. If you’re interested in a 8-10 hour DIY experiment here’s your link otherwise you can buy them online at Target, Bed Bath & Beyond Pottery Barn and more. A coffee table is yet another savvy place for hidden storage or as a space that transitions into a desk. 

Leave Kitchen Windows Uncovered: This will give the room both natural lighting and depth.  If your concern is privacy, consider blinds instead of curtains because of the cleaner lines they create.

Look Up: If you are fortunate enough to have high ceilings to work with pick a timeless wallpaper for the ceiling or shelving or cookbooks that demands your eyes to look up. This will truly maximize your space:

Temporary: An over the sink cutting board is a great pop up shop for chopping.  You may also consider a rolling cart for your kitchen.  Often these have racks below for storage and they really make a difference when you’re cooking and have run out of counter space. 

Gadgets + Gizmos: Sometimes small kitchens mean no dishwasher and a sink that’s not deep making it hard to wash pots and pans and overall more difficult to do the dishes without spewing water and soap in every direction.  But if you replace your faucet, installing something that is articulated and more industrial you have the ability of accommodating your small sink and its an easy fix. Consider mounting the faucet on the wall so that once again, you are not using your precious counter space!

Call Moya Living today to discuss design ideas for your kitchen. Our powder coated kitchen cabinets are designed to provide you with optimal storage and best yet they are customized to your needs.

10 Timeless Trends in Kitchen + Design

Trends in kitchen design are important for designers but they’re also important for consumers. Here’s why: Anytime you consider tackling a renovation you need inspiration. What’s working in your kitchen currently, how can you maximize the space you have and what has worked for others that you can implement yourself?

You are the architect of your kitchen wish list but here are so inspirational trends that might get your ideas flowing.

1. Shaker style. The 1800s inspired design can seem plain and square because of the panel profile but there are many variations of this classic and much loved design structure that can give your kitchen a contemporary or even a country like feel. Built in cabinets and drawers nod to the purist approach that Shakers were so fond of and that have become a stable for kitchen designs today.

2. Tribal-inspired tones. Your kitchen is a creative space to whip up old family recipes as well as a space for you to experiment with new concoctions to entice loved ones. To inspire said food genius, you may consider surrounding yourself with vibrant colors.  These attention grabbing hues are making a huge comeback in kitchen design for 2015 but don’t worry there is a way of mixing this flare with your monochromatic colors (lending itself to the sought after timeless kitchen feel). Try mixing matte and gloss finishes to arrive at the much desired ‘pop’ affect. Pantone has named the color of the year Marsala (a shade of burgundy) but Mediterranean blues and olives mixed with grey’s are top color choices for 2015 as well. 

3. Repetitive Patterns. Houzz reports, “Hardcastle is seeing a move away from geometric patterns and toward elegant, repetitive motifs instead.”  This can come to life in steel panels, wall coverings, door inserts in tiling. We love art deco and art nouveau inspired motifs throughout the kitchen as well.

4. Open-Plan Kitchens. As kitchens take centerstage in our homes, many desire an open and airy feel that doesn’t reserve itself to a cooking only zone but becomes a place to sit and have a glass of wine and eat appetizers before you move to the table for dinner. Open-plan kitchens are bulk-free and have a minimal amount of cabinets. This of course can be tailored to the needs of the customer (depending upon how much storage space you may need) but we’re fond of this clean and inviting space.

5.  Black. Contrary to our trend of tribal-inspired tones, there is also a shift to black cabinetry.  For those with a more monochromatic color palette, black is your go to for 2015 because it is bold, dominant and masculine.  How you accessorize this space i.e. nobs, chairs, lighting will have a large impact on the sleek and sophisticated finished product. Think boyfriend jeans made sexy. There’s quite the allure to being bold.

6. Metallics. Silver, chrome and stainless have been the sought after metals in kitchen design but this year we see a fascination with gold, copper and bronze.  Weave these eye-catching hues throughout your kitchen and fall in love with the well suited accent it adds to your kitchen.

7. Statement Ceilings. If you have high ceilings to take advantage of consider designing your kitchen in a way that lends your eye to look away from your smart phone and up to the sky. An easy way to do incorporate this trend in your kitchen is through lighting!

8.  Wallpaper. We know this word may still haunt you from the ‘70s but fear not there is some really beautiful wallpaper out there now. This can add character to your cooking zone when used in small amounts to add texture and contrast to an otherwise simple space.  

9. Open Shelving. This coincides with our open-plan kitchen trend. There has been a shift in open shelving, as a practical solution for kitchen space that also gives the customer somewhat of an industrial type feel. Think New York boutique restaurants with exposed kitchen’s, so there is less of a separation between chef’s/ingredients and customers. In your home this will further personalize your space, with the right amount of cabinetry to host items you’re not so interested in displaying you arrive at a warm and hip looking kitchen!

10.  Smart appliances. As technology evolves the way we function in our kitchen changes as well.  The Miele smart oven can keep track of your 30 favorite recipes and has a built in iPad for music or audiobooks to keep you company while you cook.  The Top Brewer by Scanomat brews coffee, froths milk, provides drinking water and hot water to assist your cooking needs.

So however you decide you revamp your kitchen this year keep in mind these clean, clutter-free, hi-tech and stylish designs!

Kitchen Appliances Worth The Splurge

Purchasing appliances for your kitchen can seem like a daunting task, they’re expensive, they’re essential, and there are quite a bit of choices out there. Here’s our guide to the top kitchen appliances that are worth the splurge, we’ve taken into consideration design, functionality, and energy efficiency.

Refrigerator: GE Café (CFE28TSHSS), the movement to French door refrigerators has infected American homes. Why? The functionality of double doors for organization and storage is unsurpassed. This sizable fridge meets new Energy Star refrigerator requirements, an important factor since these machines run 24 hours a day.  In an article called Your Next Fridge Will Be More Efficient. Here’s Why by Tyler Lynch, he wrote that, “Even a new Energy Star-labeled fridge consumes more energy per year than the average citizen of Ghana.”  Your eco-conscious purchase also features a hot water dispenser, features animated touch screens and has a Precise Fill feature so that water won’t spill down your stainless fridge. Open the doors and LED lighting will illuminate the interior, there are also adjustable shelves, crispers, full-width drawers and an adjustable temperature feature.  Click here to purchase.

Dishwasher: If you haven’t already heard the buzz around this appliance we’d like to formally introduce you to the KitchenAid Architect Series II (KUDE70FX). This year, the architect series II arrives at first place for best dishwasher. It’s energy efficient, quiet (around the sound of a whisper) and cleans heavily soiled dishes. There are six wash cycles including: heavy duty, light, normal, ProWash, rinse-only, and one-hour wash.  There are also subcategories, do you prefer a delayed start, high-temperature wash, ProDry, ProScrub, SaniRinse, or top racks only? The features illustrate this appliances efficiency and the eco friendly Energy Star qualified label will save you energy and money.  The SaniRinse feature is NSF certified providing the finest level of sanitation to your dishes, as it rinses with water between 105 and 155 degrees Fahrenheit. The estimated coast annually is $33 as the approximate energy usage hovers around 279 kilowatt-hours.  This baby is backed with a one-year warranty for parts and labor, racks and electronic components have a five-year warranty and the tub and door liners have a lifetime warranty.  To purchase click here.

Oven, Cooktop, Range: If you enjoy cooking and following recipes it’s essential to purchase the right oven, cooktop and range. While all oven’s on the market target the same functionality, you may question why your recipe came out so different than Giada De Laurentiis and chances are, if you followed directions seamlessly it’s your oven not you.  Once you get The Amanda (AGR5630BDW) into your home, the breakup with your former oven will feel incredible because this is the best valued gas range on the market today.  The oven has a contemporary design, digital oven controls, a self-cleaning option, a 5.0 cubic foot chamber for storage at the bottom, and broiler inside the oven cavity. 

Juicer: More important than a microwave? A juicer. Let’s face it if you can’t reheat your leftovers in the oven or on the stove you should toss them. Spend the money on the best juicer on the market today- the Breville (JE98XL) Juice Fountain Plus that features a 3-inch feeder chute that can create an 8oz. cup of juice in 5 seconds. The 850-watt dual-speed motor has a stainless-steel cutting disc, there is also a safety locking arm with overload protection LED so that tiny fingers are protected and pulp is collected.  This juicer has dishwasher-safe parts and comes with a 1-year limited warranty. You’re looking to spend $150 on this small appliance and we recommend that you purchase on Amazon and read the awe-inspiring reviews yourself!

What do you find to be the most essential appliance, large or small in your home? We’d love to hear from you.