Best Selling Bar Stools

If you have a kitchen island in your kitchen or you plan on adding one to your kitchen remodel, you’re going to need some seating for that expansive space While there are a few different options available, I really like bar stools. They are tall enough to reach the island counter top, but they come in many different sizes, features, materials and styles. I know that my style is different than yours (probably!) so below I will be showing you a few top rated, best selling bar stools in different looks for your kitchen.

2xHome Bar Stools

These are kind of cool because while the design is the same on all the options, they do come in several colors; black, teal, sky blue, lime green, yellow, orange, red, pink and what looks to be taupe. These come in a set of two chairs and they are plastic molded seats with natural wooden legs. The chairs also have a “leg rest” on them. However, these are only 28 inches from the seat. This seems like not a lot, but I just measured my chairs versus my counter and my chairs are only 30 inches high from the seat and the counter is 36 inches in height. It works for me. If you want something taller, look further down this list.

Roundhill Contemporary Chairs

These have a very different look to them. These also have no back to them, they are simply the seat part you sit in. However, they are metal and then covered with a faux leather and a cushion. I imagine this wouldnt be super comfortable to sit in all day long, but for morning coffee, dinner, or good conversation they would work well. These come in white, black or red – I really like the red just because its a pop of color without being overbearing. The stools also have an airlift compressor which allows them to be as low as 24 inches and as high as 30 inches. These also come as a set of two.

 

Boraam Augusta

Another very high selling and high rated stool. This one is made from a faux leather cushiony seat with high-density foam. The chair itself is made from wood. You have a few different style options when it comes to this product; black, cappuccino, cappuccino wood with black seat, cherry wood, redwood, black on black or black seats with brown wood. These also come in either a 29 inch or 24-inch option. If you’re using it for a bar or a counter I would definitely suggest the 29-inch option. Out of all the features, people say that these chairs are incredibly sturdy. That makes sense considering its made from hardwood and not some cheap material!

South Mission Leather Stools

These ones look incredibly comfortable. They have a back to them but it reaches up much higher than the 2x home ones. These come in black, camel, crème, brown, red and white. I really love the camel and brown ones though! Surprisingly enough these are super easy to put together and they are also quite tall – they go up to 32 inches! A few people complained that the chairs felt like they were not put together properly and all I can say to that is to make sure… you put them together properly! Some assembly is required so if you find that they are wobbly, consider going back and re-tightening the screws and making sure you put them in the right spots.

Winsome Saddle Seat

I can personally say that saddle seat stools are not the most comfortable thing in the world. However, they are super attractive and they work for mild use ie; eating dinner on, or having coffee etc. I definitely wouldn’t consider sitting on these chairs for longer than a few hours though. The only saddle seat I have ever sat in that was super comfortable was one I found in Arhuas that also had a real leather seat that was cushioned. This one is not cushioned and therefore it would be difficult to sit in it for long periods of time. This one comes in either 24 or 29 inches in height and it comes in black, white or walnut. It is made of solid beechwood though so you know its going to be very sturdy.

Products to stay away from:

At first glance these items look cool, they look comfortable and they look like they were purchased a lot. However, upon further research and looking on a few different sites for reviews, these are not products you want to purchase.

Round Hill Masaccio: Shame, I really liked the look of these ones and even though there are 164 reviews, most of them are 1 and 2-star ratings.  Just be safe and stay away from these ones!

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Items You Don’t Realize You Actually Need!

When it comes to a kitchen remodel you might just be updating or adding new design aspects to your kitchen. This is awesome! But, ya know what else is awesome? Having all those little gadgets you could never have before because you didn’t have the space for them! I know for me I added quite a bit of small appliances and gadgets to my kitchens once they were remodeled. So I decided to make a little list of things I bought along the way that are really useful and fun!

KitchenAid Mixer

I think most people that cook want one of these. I did as well! That’s why I purchased 1 for each kitchen. There are a few reasons I wanted one of these. First off, they come in MANY different colors. Something like 56 different color options so you can choose the one that goes with your kitchen. Second off its KitchenAid – this is a company that is known for making quality and functional kitchen products. Its a name you can trust in. Lastly, the KitchenAid mixer does all sorts of things. Its not just a “mixer.” Here are a few things you can do with a KitchenAid Mixer:

Juicer: There is a juice attachment that can be purchased. The juicer can be used for fresh squeezed juice like orange juice or lemonade or if you plan on needing some for a specific recipe.

Pasta: There is also an attachment for rolling and cutting pasta. This is a BIG reason I wanted a KitchenAid for my kitchen! It can do sheets for things like ravioli, but it can also cut the past into different types; spaghetti, fettuccine, angel hair and more.

Ice Cream: Yes, the KitchenAid also has an ice cream maker attachment!

Food Grinder and Sausage Stuffer: Now this is really cool. The food grinder can be used for any foods you want to grind up, the sausage stuffer has a little tube that comes off off the grinder where you would place your casing and where the meat comes out. You can use any meat or casing you want. Chicken sausages? Yes! Italian pork sausage? Sure, can! Other options; hot dogs, summer sausage, chorizo, Andouille and more. Its definitely worth it for this attachment alone!

Mortar and Pestle

I have always wanted one of these. They are really great for grinding up ingredients into a paste or powder. Some ideas are; garlic, salt, basil for Pesto. Cilantro, salt, garlic and lime for guacamole. Herbs for gazpacho. Steamed rice for mochi. Etc. This is a tool that can become quite useful in your kitchen depending on what type of cooking or prep you do. For instance, I make a lot of guacamole, pesto for pasta, hummus, etc so this is something that is quite useful for me. When buying a mortar and pestle, make sure that you purchase one that is made from a hard material, that it has a sort of roughness to it and that it has a wider and deeper shape to it. Granite, for example, is a really good material because its super strong! The texture will matter because if its too smooth the ingredients will be harder to mash down. Marble for instance tends to be super smooth; you want some friction for your mortar. The deep round shape of the mortar will also help you keep your ingredients in the “bowl” and keep them from spilling out. Here are a few I really like and the one I actually have.

Maxam 8″ Granite Molcajete Mortar and Pestle

Vasconia 4-Cup Granite Molcajete Mortar and Pestle

Jamie Oliver – Mortar and Pestle, Unpolished Granite, 6 Inch (this is the one I have!)

Food Scales

If you think a food scale is a waste of money, think again! When baking, for instance, measuring out your ingredients is incredibly important and sometimes using measuring cups just isn’t good enough for things like cocoa powder, sugar or flour. If you want to be really exact, whether you are baking or just cooking, a food scale is the product for you. A food scale can also evenly divide batter and other food items. You have quite a few different food scales available to you, but I really love the Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale. This is the one I use in my own kitchen – its rather attractive looking, small enough to not take up a lot of space, and incredibly accurate! I like this one too because it comes in different colors – though I chose the silver and black because I like silver and black! Other colors include; green, red, silver/silver, black/black, teal blue and of course white. One of the biggest reasons I decided to look into this one specifically was because Jamie Oliver was talking about different brands of scales in one of his articles and this was one of the brands! The other reason was because it had over 10,000 reviews at the time (now almost 12,000!) and a 4.6 out of 5 stars. Needless to say its very popular and for good reason!

 

Garlic Press

When I first purchased my garlic press I felt like a total cheat. I mean, I am a person that has been peeling and mincing garlic with a knife for…ever. I never thought that I would want anything else. But, I was over someone’s house and they were cooking and they needed garlic minced and they brought out this little gadget. I was a little offended at first haha. How dare they! But, after seeing how easy it made mincing garlic up, I was sort of a little jealous. Why didn’t I have one of these? They are easy to use, easy to clean, and you can even keep the outer shell on and it de-shells it. What the heck!?! Needless to say, I went out and bought one. I will say this: It doesn’t really matter the brand or the type, or even the price. What matters is the material its made out of. It needs to have grips on the handles so it won’t slip out of your hand. It also needs to have a polished material so you can clean it easily and put it in the dishwasher. Personally, I really like stainless steel. They tend to be heavy-duty, easy to clean and attractive looking. BTW! These aren’t just for garlic. I have also used these pressers for other things like onions, horseradish root, ginger etc. Anything that is sort of pithy can be used.

Here are a few to consider as well as the one I use in my own kitchen.

OXO Steel Garlic Press – This is the one I have and I love! Its made from zinc and stainless steel, it has a pretty large chamber – I can usually fit 2-3 cloves of garlic into it, and it has a non-slip grip. Don’t avoid it just because its OXO, I actually have a few gadgets that are OXO and they are really good products you can count on. Plus, OXO makes like… everything!

KT.KitchenTools Premium Garlic Press

Alpha Grillers Garlic Press and Peeler Set

 

 

 

 

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Steps to Surviving a Kitchen Remodel

Congratulations! The kitchen remodel that you have been planning for months on end is finally about to begin! While this is going to be a beneficial, fun and exciting time for you, it can also become a little frustrating and overwhelming too. Chances are you haven’t even thought about the remodel itself – what will happen inside the house; the noise, the strange people in your house at all hours of the day, not being able to use your kitchen, etc. That is exactly why I am writing this article! It can be used as a stand-in for tips because I have been through a kitchen remodel and I learned, the hard way, how this all works! So here are a few quick tips on making your remodel go smoother on your end.

Create A Designated Stand In Kitchen

If you’re lucky enough to have a guest house you can use the kitchen there, but if not you need to create a stand in kitchen. This can be as functional and big as you want, but I would suggest; a counter griddle for cooking food, a microwave, a counter space with your coffee maker, a few cabinets to store stuff in and of course a small sink and faucet. If you’re spending thousands on your kitchen remodel, the last thing you want to do is spend a thousand more on your stand in, especially considering you’ll probably remove it when the kitchen remodel is finished. You can even use a table and then purchase something like a countertop or workbench top made from wood to use as your counter space.  The first thing you want to do is make sure you find a proper place to put it where you have enough room and it won’t get in the way of workers. The second thing is to find a space where you have plumbing available.  If you are having a hard time figuring out how to “build” a stand in kitchen, one thing I would really suggest is to get yourself a kitchen island for now.  This is a good option because an island usually has wheels, so you can move it around, it also has a big counter space – big enough to prep food on, but also put your coffee maker on, and these islands have cabinets.  The only thing they do not have is a sink, but if you have a powder room, or a basin in your garage or basement you can use this for hand washing.  You can also find eco-friendly green sprays to wash your veggies and fruits with or make your own.  These can be used on fruits and vegetables, just spray them and then quickly run them under water.  Easy enough!

Use Disposables

Instead of using dishes and silverware, as well as glassware, use disposables. You won’t have a big enough sink to wash your dishes in and if you can’t go in the kitchen, well, how are you going to wash dishes in the main sink?! You can’t! Use paper plates, paper cups and plastic-ware for now. Not only will this save on clean up time, but it will keep you from getting frustrated that you can’t use your main kitchen, right now.

Use Your Outdoor Area Often

If you plan on doing your kitchen remodel in the warmer months (which you should!) and you have a backyard or even a deck, consider using this area more often than you usually would. Put your grill to work, even invite some friends over so it seems like a fun adventure, not an “I HAVE to do this” situation.” Grills are good for cooking all sorts of things from ribs and chicken to pizza and vegetables. You can also find instruments in order to make cooking these items even easier like a pizza pan for the grill, or a vegetable basket for grilled veggies.

Take A Break

Before you break down after month 3 of 7 in realizing you still can’t use your kitchen, take a break, go on a vacation. Even if its only for a few days, it will get you out of the house for a few days and allow you to rest and relax, destress and think about that big elephant in the room – your kitchen remodel! Just make sure that you give the contractor your information like your phone number so that if they need anything they have a way of contacting you.

Remember The Big Picture

Is a kitchen remodel stressful? Yes. Is it overwhelming? Of course. But, you really need to remember the big picture. These few months of not being able to use your kitchen will lead up to a beautiful kitchen that you could only picture in your wildest dreams. After its all said and done you will realize that this is a kitchen that you will have for years to come; its functional, its beautiful, its exactly the way you pictured it! Its difficult to remember that at the time, but please try to in order to keep your sanity!

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How Can I Measure Cabinets For My Kitchen?

When it comes to any kind of a remodeling project, the LAST thing you want to do is to not measure your space. It doesn’t matter if it’s a kitchen, a garage or something outdoors like a yard or a deck – if you measure correctly it will cause a whole bunch of problems and possibly cause your project to be stopped! If you have something store bought like kitchen cabinets, this isn’t something you can exactly cut and expect to just slide it in. If you do this, it could end up causing you more problems than anything else.

There are two ways you could go about this. You can either utilize the services of a store and have them come in to measure everything for your kitchen remodeling OR you could do it yourself. If you hire someone, you can almost guarantee there are going to be no problems – though there are those rare occasions.

Also, if you hire someone it is going to be costly and you have to consider labor charges. If you do it yourself, its much cheaper, but again, please make sure you follow the directions in order to get it done correctly! The first thing you need to do if figure out exactly what size you want your cabinet to be. Cabinets come in a wide array of sizes.

What you need to do is get a tape measure and measure the space where the cabinet goes. You also need to measure the old cabinet so that you know how big it was before you buy a new one! Then, in order to measure the cabinet space, you can actually take the one you have now OR you can simply measure around where you would like the cabinet to be.

Make sure if this cabinet is by a dishwasher, sink, etc. that you make sure there is enough space to move around. I’ve been in homes before where something is a little too big and not only does it make everything look a little “odd”, but it’s also hard to get around in.

When remodeling a kitchen or any room, this is not a very attractive attribute! Also, if you are upgrading or installing any extras like mirrors, make sure that you have enough room in between the chair rail (if there is one!), the top of the ceiling and anything else it might be able to touch. Once you do the measuring, everything else should fit into place nicely!

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Read This Before Doing A Kitchen Remodel

Doing a kitchen remodel can be a fun, exciting and great way to change the look of your kitchen. Its also a really great way to add more value to your home if you plan on selling anytime soon. But, before you visit any showrooms, buy any products, or meet with a professional, read my expert advice on how to create the perfect space you’ve always wanted!

What’s Worth Adding and What Should You Forget?

When it comes time to do a kitchen remodel, chances are you DO have a budget and you want to not only make that budget stretch, but you also want to add value and function to your kitchen. I don’t blame you! Here is a list of items you should add versus ones you should not – for now anyway.

Worth It

A second sink: Its a good idea to place this sink outside the regular cooking zone. This is a great idea if you have another Chef in the kitchen or you just want to have a place to clean fruits and veggies or a wash sink to clean hands before dinner.

Soft Close Drawers: You don’t realize how much you LOVE soft close drawers until you have them. These drawers (and cabinets) have a cool little device on them that keeps the doors from slamming shut. Instead, they glide shut, softly.

Full Pull Out Cabinets: These nifty cabinets tend to be longer than deeper and they are a great option for adding pots and pans, as well as lids. It keeps everything organized, and yet the cabinets are easy to reach into it.

Not Worth It

Glazed or Crackled Cabinets: Not only does this type of cabinet finish go in and out of style often, but it can also add an additional 30% cost onto your kitchen remodel. THAT is a lot of money! Think of it this way, if your entire remodel costs $15,000 just by adding on crackled or glazed cabinets, your cost can skyrocket up to $19,500. That’s an extra $4500 just for your cabinets alone. Its really not a good idea to consider this and there are so many other options available to you that ARE worth it!

Chef Ready Appliances: One thing you need to understand now is that there is a huge difference between Chef-like and Chef-ready appliances. Chef-like appliances will still allow you to have functional, quality equipment, but at a lower cost (and weight) than Chef-ready appliances. A lot of the professional kitchen brands out there offer residential appliances. Viking, for instance, is known as being a very popular brand in professional kitchens, but they also are huge pieces of equipment that way a ton and they tend to be thousands of dollars more than residential kitchen appliances. This is definitely something to think about! For example, a Viking range for a professional kitchen can cost around $8000. Yea. You read that right! On the other hand, a Viking home kitchen range can cost $1500 to $3000. Even $3000 is a lot but its way better than $8000!!!

Save More Money

One way to save the most amount of money is to keep the same layout you have now. You see, once you start adding walls, knocking down walls, changing plumbing connections and electrical wiring, THAT is when the cost starts to go up. But, if you forgo these options or at least slim them down, you can save a considerable amount of money so you can spend it on more important design options like that new floor you’ve been wanting to put in, or that Viking range you always wanted, or that coffee bar you need.

Save Money On Cabinets

One of the easiest ways to save money on cabinets is to stay away from custom cabinets. Custom cabinets are cabinets that you add your own customizations to. Instead, get standard cabinets with standard options – these tend to have no upfront charges.

Under The Cabinet Lighting Is A Big Plus!

Under the cabinet lighting or task lighting is a great way to add lighting to your kitchen, without overbearing and expensive overhead lights. These lights, as per the name, go under your cabinets. Two of the most popular types are LED and XENON. XENON goes for around $25 to $125 for a 24-inch installation. LED goes for $75 to $190 for a 24-inch installation.

Open Shelving

Not only are open shelves cheaper than closed cabinets but they also add personality to your kitchen. Its important, however, that you realize not everything can go on an open shelf. Shelves will collect dust so you should only be storing; cookbooks, serving platters that you can clean quickly and easily, and coffee cups and cereal bowls that you use and wash regularly, on these open shelves.

Buy A Proper Hood

If you bought a hood before and it seemed like it wasn’t working properly or it was making a lot of noise, there are a few factors you should consider when buying a new one.

– The size of the hood should be the same size as the range. So if you get a 30-inch range, the hood should also be 30 inches. Not only will this keep things working properly, but an overly small or overly large hood can look a little weird in your kitchen. If you do want to go a little larger, consider only going 3-5 inches larger/higher

– BTUs do matter: The BTUs and the CFM of a hood do factor into your hood. You want to make sure that its big enough, as well as powerful enough to use in your kitchen.

Gooseneck Faucets

A goose neck faucet is one of the most useful types of faucets. These have a long neck which makes them perfect for accommodating large pots, but they also have a sprayer that extends out of the top of the faucet. The design of this type of faucet. works for just about any kitchen. These also come in a wide array of colors and materials.

Large Single Basin Sink

Sinks are a factor that you will probably spend hours muddling over. There are just so many designs, styles, types, materials and more. But, I am here to tell you that the single basin is one of the best options to consider. Its nice and large which allows you to wash several things at once, but they also come with a flat bottom to keep glasses from tipping over and you can get the drain placed towards the backside of the sink so that water on top of dishes, won’t get the water backed up. Just make sure you choose one that is no deeper than 12 inches otherwise you will literally be up to your elbows in water!

Counter Top Edges

You might not realize the cost factor that comes into play when it comes to edges, but the cost is very significant! Eased edges are no extra cost. On the other hand, full bullnose is around $6 to $7 per linear foot. Lastly, Ogee which looks a little more ornate, but costs more is at around $8 to $12 per linear foot.

Alternatives To Granite

Lets be honest, everyone wants a natural stone counter in their kitchen. Most of the natural stones are super durable – you can even place hot pots on them, they are easy to clean, easy to take care of, absolutely beautiful and they look and feel luxurious. But, what if you simply don’t have the money for a granite counter? Well, I definitely wouldn’t suggest going with something cheap and cheesy like laminates. Yuck. These can look nice, but that’s not my issue. My issue with laminates is that they can chip easily, they are finicky when it comes to heat, and the surface can cause flecks of it to chip off. We’re not talking the usual chips on corners or edges, but the actual surface. If you can’t afford granite (usually costs around $100 to $225 per square foot) and you don’t want laminate, there are other options available.

Engineered stone is a composite material made of crushed stone bound together by an adhesive, (most commonly polymer resin, with some newer versions using cement mix). The two common stones used in producing these products are marble and quartz. The application of these products depends on the original stone used. For engineered marbles, the most common application is indoor flooring and walls, while the quartz-based product is used primarily for kitchen countertops. Related materials include geopolymers and cast stone. Unlike terrazzo, the material is factory made in either blocks or slabs, cut and polished by fabricators, and assembled at the work site. Engineered stone will cost between $100 to $180 per square foot.

– Concrete: From rough-hewn to refined, concrete countertops have moved beyond the drab slabs of the past. Advancements have catapulted concrete into the world of architectural-grade products, alongside popular stone and wood options. A concrete countertop is a serious contender for those seeking a customized material with a natural sensibility, it’s widely adaptable but is definitely not for those who cherish perfection. A concrete countertop will cost anywhere between $50 to $140 per square foot.

– Stainless Steel Counters: If you’re looking for a clean look with refined lines, nothing looks better than a stainless steel top. Plus, these are incredibly easy to clean, maintain and they are perfect for keeping bacteria away. Pretty much any professional kitchen out there has a stainless steel counter and its specifically for these reasons. Now if you plan on cutting right on them, lines from the blade will show up over time, but for some people, this simply adds character to the counter. If you don’t want this to happen, make sure that you only use the stainless steel counter for soft things like making dough and use a cutting board for cutting. Stainless steel usually costs anywhere between $40 and $130 per square foot.

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