Posts from — September 2010
From all of the things you can buy for your favorite girl or boy, why a play kitchen?
First and foremost, it creates interactive play. It encourages imagination. It allows your child to role play and cook like Mom or Dad. This is a great way to play with your child, and a great way for your child to play with friends. And if you choose, you can turn kitchen play into a learning opportunity. Play food can be used to teach about different foods and nutrition. Also social skills can be practiced with serving food and play eating together. What sort of play kitchen do you want? Children’s kitchens range from very small toy kitchens to very large and feature full. You can find a single unit kids kitchen, which include many appliances, to multi-piece kitchen play sets with individual appliances. Choosing a play kitchen set depends on the age of the child, your budget and your setting. It also depends on your personal philosophy. Where is that play kitchen made? Is it eco-friendly and made with sustainable manufacturing and fair business practices.
Ikea-based toy kitchen. Photos: Ohdeedoh.com
Ohdeedoh highlighted a great play kitchen project made from a $15 bedside table from IKEA and related parts. The hardest part of projects like this is cutting a round hole, which requires a bit more toolage than the rest. Then again, I never knew you could get jigsaws so cheaply – Black & Decker isn’t the best toolmaker out there, but this $30 model gets high marks from consumers. (You’ll need a drill too for a starter hole, but most families have that already!)
What kinds of play kitchens are available?
Single Unit Kitchens – These play kitchens include many appliances such as a stove, oven, microwave and sink in one unit. These units have a “front” and “back”, so that they can be placed against a wall. Typically this style of toy kitchen is either a “assembly-required” wooden kitchen or it is made from molded plastic. A typical large, self-assemble wooden kitchen measures about four feet long, four feet tall, and about two feet deep.
Island Play Kitchen – These are stand-alone pretend kitchens. Children can play on all sides of these kitchens. Island play kitchens also feature various combinations of sink, stove, ovens and microwaves. Toddler kitchens are typically this style.
Complete Kitchen Play Sets – We are talking about a multi-appliance set here. There are separate toy stoves, toy refrigerators, toy microwaves, toy sinks, and toy dishwashers.
Table Top Toy Kitchens – These are small, typically “two burner” stoves, that are designed with portability in mind. These pretend kitchens can be moved from room to room and be used on a table, shelf or even the floor.
Natural wooden kitchens – These kitchens are made from solid wood and not particle board. Many of the “assembly-required” are made from laminated particle board and are still considered wood by the manufacturer. The natural wooden kitchens are typically made from spruce, pine or cedar. Many of these designs are more abstract in nature. That is they do not offer realistic detail; however, there is no mistaking that these are play kitchens. They usually combine a sink and stove and have moving parts. It is just that the details are left to the child’s imagination.
September 14, 2010 No Comments
Paint is the least expensive way to change the look of a room, whether you want to modernize your living room or make your bedroom more serene. A fresh paint job enlivens a ho-hum interior, but picking the right color (or combination of colors) and figuring out where best to put it and how much to use can prove perplexing.
Dining Room Refresh
A palette of bold colors and do-it-yourself paint projects give this dining room a fresh look. We choose two shades of blue for the table and chairs and created a two-tone effect to add interest to the furniture. Separate the painted and non-painted portions of the chairs and table with painter’s tape. Semi-gloss paint works best on furniture because of it’s easy-to-clean finish, so apply several coats.
Color a Table
Unfinished wood is the perfect canvas for paint. Sand the surface lightly, remove the sanding dust with a tack cloth, and then spray the piece with one thin coat of primer and several thin coats of paint, allowing each coat to dry before adding the next. Protect the painted surface with two coats of polyurethane.
Craft a Place Setting
Chair backs coated with chalkboard paint provide erasable name “cards” for a dinner party. To take the theme even further, use the paint on a tray to create a menu board.
Update the Furniture
If the wood surface is already painted or varnished, remove dirt or wax buildup with a household cleaner and rinse. Sand rough areas and wipe away dust with a tack cloth. Apply two coats of stain-blocking primer and allow it to dry between coats. Roll or brush on two coats of latex paint in the direction of the wood grain. Use a brush to finish the surface with smooth strokes.
A New Life for Metal
Clean the surface with a stiff wire brush to remove flaking paint or rust. Wipe with a damp cloth and let it dry. Prime with metal primer and let dry, or use a paint specially formulated with rust inhibitors. Apply several thin coats of paint. If using spray paint, hold the can about 10 – 12 inches from the surface as you spray. Shake the can during the application to keep the color mixed. Spray lightly to avoid paint runs. [Read more →]
September 9, 2010 1 Comment
Black storage ottomans and side tables add a sleek silhouette to this red kitchen and living room. Don’t underestimate the power of graphic pillows to pump up a simple color scheme. Here, cherry blossom pillows keep a charcoal-gray sofa looking chic, not drab.
Electric Color Combo
Let your fun, funky spirit come out with an outrageous wall color. Just tame it with touches of black: a sleek picture frame and mismatched black chairs do the trick.
A room as cheery as this country dining room needs a place for the eye to rest — simple black dining chairs fit the bill without calling too much attention to themselves.
If you’re nervous about adding black to a room, start small by coating minor architectural details in black. The inside walls of a built-in and portions of the wall set apart by molding are ideal for these small touches.
Two Shades of Black
Mixing styles in black is a definite can-do. Here, a new-again damask print in black and white sits atop an antique black table. The shared colors pull them together for an elegant look.
September 4, 2010 No Comments
Create a warming orange living room
By painting both the skirting and the walls in Tuscan Terracotta we give the room an increased feeling of height. By doing this the wall looks like it travels all the way to the floor, rather than being chopped off by a pale skirting.
Create a welcoming family hall way
Because life is for living we have used Roasted Red on the walls in Dulux Endurance Matt finish which is ten times tougher than conventional paint. This makes it easy to remove stubborn stains, perfect in a busy hallway like this. We’ve teamed that with Antique Satin on the tongue and Grove and painted the Table with Crazy Cream.
Create a light & airy space
Keep your look simple, crisp and understated like we have here by combining Pacific Breeze on the walls with Absolute White on the window frame and setting the room off beautifully is this ultra-modern chair.
Create a feminine pink bedroom
We have chosen two toning pinks for this exuberant yet feminine bedroom. Sexy Pink on the right creates a feature wall and is complemented beautifully with Sweet Pink on the back wall and Strawberries ‘n’ Cream on the window frames
Create a blue dressing room
For a very contemporary twist on a blue room, combine a soft blue such as First Dawn, with the cool grey quality of Illusion and Blue Chalk. Greys and blues look fabulous and work brilliantly in south facing rooms.
September 4, 2010 2 Comments
Modern luxury farmhouse design living room with blue decorated sofa, ottoman leather armchairs and fireplace.
When designing a modern farm, balconies, wide board floors and beautiful fireplaces are welcome. The plant can be central hall, living room side or a variation of both. Gathering places inside the house is as important today as they were 200 years ago.
September 4, 2010 No Comments