Tips for Organizing Your Kitchen Sink

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and creating your dream kitchen can express your style and design. From mesmerizing backsplashes to intricately designed appliances, your kitchen can quickly become the most stunning part of your home. However, nothing takes away from this dream oasis quite like clutter, and one spot reigns notorious overall in this category: the sink. Having a messy sink is easy. We usually eat three times a day and sometimes feed more than one person a meal, so this can quickly become an eyesore if not taken care of correctly. However, some simple kitchen sink organization skills can help have your sink looking clean and less cluttered. Today, we will break down the three ways to organize your sink and keep it clean and crisp all year. Let’s take a look!

The Essentials 

Your kitchen sink most likely has some critical components which you use daily when washing your dishes. For instance, you may have a soap dispenser, maybe a plug near the sink, and perhaps a drying towel, and even a scrub brush. If you can tuck any of these away in your drawers, take advantage of the space. If not, have a clean and organized set up of where these items belong and assign them to it as their “home” spot. 

Drying Area 

The next key spot is your drying rack. If you have a dishwasher, you do not need to worry about this. However, if you do not have this amenity or have wooden or plastic utensils, you will need to designate an area for drying. Some drying racks can connect right into your sink. Make sure these areas never become cluttered. The drying area is easy to allow items to overstay their welcome, but use your drying towel and have the dishes and utensils back to their homes before leaving the kitchen.

Down Below 

Under the sink is a useful area. You can store your trash, recycling, cleaners, and other kitchen supplies. In fact, this is where your extra cleaning material should go when you do not use them daily. If you have small children, you may need to put a locking mechanism on this cabinet as well. Extra sponges, cup cleaners, and stain removers can all reside happily underneath your sink until needed. 

It is easy to allow your kitchen to become cluttered since we tend to use it every day. That being said, do not let this become the downfall of your beautiful kitchen. Take pride in your kitchen and allow this heart of your home to warm your whole household.

Five Places to Hang Your Dish Towel

From drying the dishes to wiping down the counters, dish towels are essential tools in kitchens. While you use the dishtowel every day, you may run across the issue of storing it. Finding a spot to hang the dishtowel sounds relatively simple, but if you want to make sure it is nearby at a moment’s notice, here are some of your options:

Hanging It on the Sink’s Edge

Perhaps the most common place you will see a dishtowel is hanging on the sink’s edge. However, this only works if you have a double sink with one section having the faucet pointed at it and the other side being a washing basin. Hanging the dishtowel on a regular sink can be a bit impractical because it will get wet up every time you turn on the faucet; therefore, this solution is best for double sink kitchens.

Wall Rack

An excellent way to store your dishtowels is by using a wall rack. It provides the perfect opportunity to showcase your dish towels, even the ones that are not currently in rotation and keep them organized so you will always know where to reach when you need it. You can purchase a quality rack with decorative elements from your local home goods outlets or at the thrift store. Make sure the wall has a moisture-proof finish so that the water from the cloth does not cause the painting in that spot to erode.

Towel Bar

If you have a sink that is equipped with a towel bar, it can be the ideal spot to hang your dish towel once you are finished using it. If not, you can easily install one nearby to have your towels handy.

Dishwasher or Range Handle

You will find that most dishwashers and stoves have handles that make for the handiest spots to hang a light towel. Usually, the dishwasher is located right next to the sink, which means you can just reach down to grab it when you are drying dishes. The range handle is an ideal spot as well because we have all used a dish towel to take out hot pots from the oven.

Towel Hook or Bar

Consider installing a towel hook or bar right above the sink. Or you can get creative and install a wooden or metal bar on the side of the island. The options are truly endless!

Do you have any creative ways to hang your dish towels? We would love to hear your thoughts below in the comment section.

Simple yet Stylish Kitchen Decor Ideas

We have all seen those kitchens that are effortless perfection. Somehow, their design practically melts together without any effort, and you are curious as to how they do it. Well, you came to the right place! With our expert tips, you can decorate a sleek, stylish kitchen on a reasonable budget in no time. 

Simple yet Stylish Kitchen Decor Ideas: 

  • Appreciate Stylish Appliances

Whether you have a colorful mixer or a stainless steel toaster, appliances can be used as functional decor pieces. Homeowners should incorporate their most beautiful and often-used appliances in their countertop decor. This helps make the kitchen more functional and gives it a lived-in look. Plus, it supplies you with extra storage inside of your cabinets. 

  • Create a Coffee Bar

Everyone loves a good coffee bar; you should incorporate one into your kitchen’s design. You can simply add a decorative tray with essential coffee making items on a corner of your countertop and voila, you have a custom coffee bar. 

  • Cue Cutting Boards

Invest in some beautiful, good quality cutting boards and you will never regret it a day in your life. Cutting boards make for gorgeous decor and allow homeowners to chop up food at a moment’s notice. Cutting boards are a necessity for kitchen decor. 

  • Books on Books

Books are not only meant for libraries, but they make for trendy decor. You can use cookbooks or purchase some old books from antique shop to achieve this look. If you find the cookbooks to be a bit of an eyesore, try recovering the books yourself. You can wrap them in beautiful wrapping paper to add a touch of design to their covers. 

  • Put out Plants

Plants bring beauty into any space of the home, but especially the kitchen. Try planting a mini herb garden inside of your kitchen to bring in the outdoors. 

  • Cute Canisters

Place your salt, sugar, flour, and baking soda in adorable canisters that can be left out as decorations. This is the perfect solution for homeowners who love to cook and want access to the essential baking items. 

  • Always Add in Artwork

Find some of your favorite artwork and hang up in the kitchen. Most homeowners forget that the kitchen is a room like every other room; therefore, an artistic picture from your favorite local artist would look amazing on the wall. 

  • Finish off with Fruit and Flowers

Nothing says fresh like fruit and flowers. Display your weekly fresh fruit and flowers whenever possible to add the finishing touches to your kitchen decor. 

For more expert advice and style tips, be sure to check out our blog hub at https://proudtobuild.fultonhomes.com.  

Southwest Salad

Keeping things fresh when you are cooking is a one way to improve your health and making salads for your lunches and dinners is a great way to work towards this goal. So what do you do when you have those cravings for tacos or a burrito but can’t have it due to dietary restrictions? 

 

Transforming your favorite traditional flavors and dishes into a salad is one way you can have your cake and eat it too. Here we use mainly fresh produce throughout, with a few optional add-ons for those of us who aren’t trying to be as strict as others. The salad dressing is a yogurt based avocado and cilantro masterpiece that compliments this vibrant salad. The next time you feel yourself reaching for those tortilla chips and salsa, reach instead for your cutting board and vegetables and whip up this great alternative.

 

Ingredients:

1 bag of spinach

1-2 cups cherry tomatoes

1 red onion

1 red bell pepper

1 orange bell pepper

2 avocados

1 bunch fresh cilantro

1/4 cup of greek yogurt

1 clove of garlic

Lime juice

Shredded pepper jack or cheddar cheese

Tortilla strips

Salt

 

  1. Wash all of your produce thoroughly. You will want to have a large bowl to throw everything into as you go.
  2. Begin prepping by removing the spinach stems and adding as much as you prefer. 
  3. Slice the red onions to your desired preference, personally, we think they work well diced or in long strips.
  4. Do the same with the bell peppers and toss all in your salad bowl.
  5. Remove the stems from the cilantro and dice up as much as you’d like to add to the salad. Try not to overdo it so that the cilantro doesn’t overpower the other flavors.
  6. Slice open the avocado and cut into chunks and add to salad. Save half of an avocado for the dressing.
  7. In a food processor combined the half of an avocado, yogurt, 1/2 cup of water, 1 cup cilantro leaves and stems, garlic, a pinch of salt, and lime juice. Pulse until ingredients are properly blended and the consistency is smooth.
  8. Toss the salad with the dressing and to with desired amounts of cheese and tortilla strips. 

 

This is just one translation of a favorite dish turned into a delicious salad. Use your imagination when creating other salads and think about what ingredients you can put together to recreate a healthier version of your favorite recipes!

Garden Herbs

Summer is in full force which means cookouts, barbecues, and picnics! All of these activities can be improved with herbs right from your home garden. Do you not have herbs in your home garden? No worries, we have the perfect list of herbs for you to plant: 

 

The Six Must-Have Garden Herbs: 

  1. Basil. One of the most popular herbs that homeowners grow is basil. It is rich in nutrients and full of bold flavors. Basil is one of the most versatile herbs because it can be used fresh or dried! The meal possibilities are endless with basil from homemade pesto to basil tea! 

Pro-tip: While you are growing basil in your garden, pull out any flower stalks that begin to grow. By doing so, you will have the best-tasting basil. 

Meal Idea: There is nothing like a homemade margarita pizza with fresh basil. You and your loved ones will delight in the pizza’s simple yet bold taste. 

  1. Chives. Not only is this herb delicious, but it discourages mosquitoes and other unwanted insects from entering your garden bed. Chives are light yet tasty. Chefs compare their delicious taste to onions. 

Pro-tip: When preparing to take your chives to the kitchen, try to keep 1/2 inch of the chive’s stub in your garden to help keep it growing properly. 

Meal Idea: Want an easy dish to bring to your next party? Try making homemade sour cream and chive dip.

  1. Cilantro. You will get two opinions on cilantro: I love it or I hate it. People usually have very strong feelings about cilantro. If you are a cilantro lover, you must add this unique herb to your home garden. Plus, cilantro has several health benefits from aiding in digestion to reducing inflammation. 

Pro-tip: Throw out any dried, brown leaves from your cilantro plant to stimulate a healthy growth.

Meal Idea: Guacamole can be savory with a dash of cilantro, lime juice, salt, pepper and diced tomatoes. The cilantro helps bring all these flavors together into an enticing Mexican dish. 

  1. Mint. Not only will its smell delight your senses, but mint’s versatility makes it the perfect herb. You can add mint into your favorite drink or even a sandwich. Mint can be delicious in a variety of different dishes, just try it out. 

Fun fact: Mint has beneficial properties that can be used to help to relieve headaches or sinus infections and can help with digestion. 

Meal Idea: In a water bottle, place a couple pieces of mint with sliced strawberries. The flavors will help you drink more water and aid your digestion. 

  1. Parsley. The herb that takes away bad breath and tastes delicious. You will notice that parsley has a more bitter taste than the other herbs, but it works well in all types of dishes. 

Meal Idea: How delectable does grilled steak with parsley sound? The next time you prepare a meal on the grill, try adding some parsley as a delicious garnish. 

  1. Rosemary. You will love this herb because of its versatility and bold flavors. Rosemary can be paired with meat, vegetables, nuts or bread. 

Meal Idea: Add rosemary sprigs to some olive oil and voila, you have a mouth-watering dipping sauce for your bread. 

 

Having an herb garden makes cooking all the better. You will love the fresh flavors and spice your herbs can add to a meal. 


Kitchen Organization 101

A kitchen holds a lot of importance in a household. A kitchen is so much more than just a place where you cook. Think about the memories you have made in the kitchen. Whether you were baking cookies with grandma or preparing your first meal in a new home, a kitchen can hold a lot of significance. Let us treat our kitchens with the respect they deserve by taking care of them. A clean, organized kitchen can allow you to make the memories you want with your friends, children, spouse, etc. So let us organize our kitchens to get the maximum use out of them: 

 

  1. Take it all out. Remove everything from your cabinets and drawers. There may be some items in there that you did not even know you still owned. Separate the items into different piles: keep, donate, and trash. Chipped, broken items can go into the trash and unused, good condition items can be donated. 
  2. Sort items. Make your kitchen more logical and convenient by sorting items based on what they are. For example: group your glassware together and put them in one area of the kitchen. 
  3. Make it convenient. Think about the layout of your kitchen and place items by where they can be easily used. For example, place baking items near the oven for easy access! Store items that are not frequently used up higher and items that are used daily within reach. 
  4. Label items. If you like to make homemade dressings, jams, or sauces, make sure you label the container with the date and what product is inside it. This can avoid future confusion for you and your family. 
  5. Place lids on top of their container. This will be a lifesaver when you are trying to store your leftovers. Whenever you wash a container and lid, make sure to put them back together for easy use in the future.  
  6. Divide the drawers. Drawer dividers can be extremely helpful for cooks because they save us from having to dig through drawers. You can divide your silverware, utensils, etc. It will help you find items fast and remove clutter. 

 

Time to get cooking and make some amazing memories! What are some of your favorite memories you made in the kitchen? Feel free to comment in the section below: 


Painted Cabinets Make Kitchen Light and Bright

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When you’re designing your new Fulton Kitchen, it’s worth considering painted cabinets. They add a light and inviting look to your food preparation space, and keep everything feeling light and bright. With lighter countertops and under-cabinet lighting like this kitchen in the Caravan model in Central Vermont at Cooley Station, the entire room is designed to create a supportive mood that makes it easy to spend time in this kitchen.

There are still a few darker elements for contrast, like the oven and microwave and the comfortable stools at the pull-up eating area on the island. Accessories also add nice pops of color. But the overall mood is light and easy on the eyes.kitchen-1w

Notice how the accent wall, shown at the back of this photo going into the dining area, provides another contrasting element. At the same time the white dining chairs connects this space with the kitchen.

This is a smart connection between the two spaces, linking them both while still providing a source of much-appreciated contrast. The darker wall also supports a cozy ambiance which is appreciated in a dining space. Notice also the colorful tablescape where the accessories link it to the island. These choices make a home look more like a designed space rather than creating a more scattered feeling. kitchen-6w

Don’t be afraid to mix dark and painted wood. You can see how well it works with this dining table and chair set. The shabby-chic effect on the painted chairs keeps them from seeming too matchy-matchy with the cabinets while still creating a link. While the painted chairs bring the painted kitchen cabinet feel into the space, the dark stained wood echoes other pieces used in the rest of the home. This type of mixing allows you to add just a few new pieces without having to discard the bulk of your furniture if you choose to go in a different style or color direction with your new home.

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Take a look at another way this kitchen provides contrast without going dark. The addition of one glass-fronted cabinet in the corner adds a welcome and interesting break in the line of top cabinets. Both the height difference and the contrast of the glass add a welcome change in the design. And limiting the glass front to only one cabinet is also a smart budget strategy, because window doors are more expensive. They also require you to maintain tidier cabinets, which can be a nuisance.

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In another opportunity to add an interesting contrast, the island is a soft grey/taupe rather than white. This color works well with the chosen countertops and the flooring, yet it helps the island feel like something special. Choosing a different cabinet color for your island is daring, yet as you can see it can work well.

One reason this color choice works is because the same taupe is echoed in the kitchen’s backsplash. If you notice, the mid-range tone is a close match for the island cabinet color. When you can find ways to make those kinds of connections, you will end up with a kitchen that feels integrated and well thought out.kitchen-3wIt’s interesting to realize that there are actually three fairly strong patterns present in this kitchen: the flooring, the countertops and the backsplash. You can see all three in the photo above. This could easily feel like too much if the contrast within or among the patterns was stronger. Imagine these same patterns in vivid reds and oranges! But because they are all gentle and light in color, the number of patterns isn’t overwhelming. In fact, you almost need these patterns to keep the kitchen interesting. In a way, the patterns take the place of a stronger light/dark contrast you would see in some other kitchens.

Here’s the final interesting design decision with this light bright kitchen. The rest of the open floorplan was designed to focus your eyes in that direction. The diagonal flooring draws the eye toward the kitchen, and the brightness of the space contrasts with the mid-range colors of the dining and family room to draw you toward the light just like a sunflower turning to face the sun. kitchen-7w

The rest of the home is warm and welcoming, with other white elements that mimic the light kitchen such as the sofas in the family room as you can see above. But linking it all, the heart of this home, is the light and bright kitchen, made for a family to live in, eat in, and spend time together in, and above all, enjoy. And that’s the best use you can make of a kitchen, isn’t it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Kitchen and Artwork

The kitchen isn’t traditionally a place where you would think to hang your artwork but that doesn’t mean it should be overlooked. Art is a great way to add visual interest to any space and can bring a new warmth to your kitchen. Perhaps you have a favorite piece that will make washing the dishes just a little bit easier because you have that in your kitchen to look at. Or maybe you want to make a change to your kitchen without breaking the bank or painting—artwork is perfect for changing up the space quickly and easily.

 

Depending on the size of your kitchen you may find yourself with enough wall space to hang a picture. Whether it be where there is a gap in your cabinets or along another wall void of them, adding a statement piece of art is a bold use of that blank area and can really put your kitchen over the edge. It might even become the focal point of the room and you can build out from there, pulling from the picture for design inspiration elsewhere.

 

Another use of wasted space is to throw up a few pieces of artwork up above the upper cabinets. Your space is already there and not being used. Why not put up some items that create a border of artwork floating above your kitchen? You could also make use of the space between your counters and your upper cabinets by standing artwork on your counters here or even hanging it up, creating your own backsplash. This can be particularly effective if you use your art as a backsplash for your kitchen sink.

 

What if you just don’t have the space to fit any artwork in your kitchen? Don’t give up! There are still ways to incorporate artwork into your space. Try hanging art next to your kitchen if your layout allows for it. You’ll still be able to see it from the kitchen and it is also a great way to transition the two spaces with a connecting design element if you can get the art to work with both rooms.

Cabinets Set Tone for Kitchen

design center 4When you start planning your new Fulton Home, it may seem like the kitchen is the most challenging part of the process. But once you make a couple of choices, your other options will begin to fall into place.

The best way to attack your overall kitchen design is with your cabinet style and finish. Do you want a contemporary look? Then consider the Shaker style for your cabinetry. This sleek style, shown on the bottom middle in the photo above, works well with the sleek lines of a contemporary home.

If you prefer a more country or rustic look, why not consider a glazed finish such as the cabinet door shown on the lower right? The darker tone and contrast provided by the black glaze makes that cabinet feel more homey and inviting, a fitting style to give that farmhouse appeal.

Perhaps you want to go solidly traditional. The dark cabinet door on the upper right would work well with any traditional decor. A light and bright kitchen would work well with the middle cabinet door to the left of the photo. The good news is that the Fulton Design Center has a rich selection of choices in cabinetry, and all of them in a standard of quality designed for you to enjoy in your new kitchen for years to come.

We encourage you to visit the Fulton Design Center to see our choices of kitchen cabinets in person, to start the process of designing the Fulton Home of your dreams.

Creating the Perfect Kitchen for You

design center 2What would your perfect kitchen be like? Would looks or functionality be more important? Do you want great cabinets or would you compromise on that to have just the right appliances? Could you live with a smaller refrigerator as long as you have a gas range? Well, when you walk into the Fulton Design Center, those may be the decisions you will face, so it pays to think about them now.

Start by taking a look at your current kitchen. Would you like more cabinet space? How about better lighting? Do you like your current cooktop or do you want something different? How much countertop space do you have now? Could you use more? When you think about what you want in a new kitchen, analyzing your current kitchen is a good jumping off point.

Next, visit the Fulton Design Center during one of our browse nights. Spend time in the various kitchen vignettes like this one. Take the time to see which kitchen feels the most comfortable for you. Are you drawn to the rich dark finish of these cabinets? Or maybe you’ll find you prefer the lighter tones of one of the other vignettes. Spend some time standing and looking around at the various choices. They’re designed to help give you ideas for your own home.

Finally, check out all of the options available. Some might be a good fit for your approach to cooking. Others may be unnecessary. Don’t project your dream of becoming a gourmet chef onto your kitchen if you know you specialize in tuna casseroles. On the other hand if you like hanging with your kids after school while you fix dinner then you probably want that island extension that gives them space to sit and chat with an after-school snack.

Whatever kitchen you create, we know it will be just as perfect  for yourself and your family as your new Fulton Home will be for all of you!