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Grow Your Own Italian Herb Garden!

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italian-herb-garden-modern-kitchen-remodelIf you’re considering stirring up some home cooked meals in your modern kitchen, what better way to do this than by using your own, freshly picked herbs—right from your own Italian herb garden! Italian food has some of the world’s yummiest herbs and some common tasty Italian herbs you may wish to grow include:

  • Garlic
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Sage

Garlic being one of the most common herbs added to Italian cooking, it would be only natural to have garlic as a part of your Italian herb garden.  Garlic is very low maintenance and can be planted in just about any garden and then be frozen to use at a later time.  Rosemary is an herb that actually has added benefits to being a part of your herb garden, as it grows into a large shrub that sprouts small blue flowers that attract bees.  Rosemary is sensitive to the colder weather though, so make sure that your garden environment is capable of supporting rosemary.  Basil is another commonly used herb found in many Italian recipes and also has advantages to other vegetables you may grow in your garden, such as peppers or tomatoes, as it can enhance flavors if grown next to each other.  Basil is also known to help keep flies away.

Whatever herbs you decide to add to your Italian Herb Garden, between the enhanced natural flavors of the herbs added to your cooking to the fresh aroma the herbs will add to any room and the overall look and feel of your kitchen, you are certain to fall in love with your garden!

For more information about incorporating an Italian herb garden in your next contemporary kitchen remodel, contact EuroAmerica Design and speak with a consultant to help you not only design your dream kitchen, but the dream garden to go with it!

This post is brought to you by the good folks at EuroAmerica Design.  Contact us today for more information on how we can assist you with your next kitchen, bath or wardrobe remodel.  We would love to connect with you on FacebookHouzz and Pinterest.

Photo Credit: Simon Howden via freedigitalphotos.net

Top 6 Kitchen Design Mistakes People Make

modern-kitchen-design-mistakes-berloni-americaThere’s a reason why the kitchen has become a focal point and the center of much attention for most homes—it’s where the activity happens.  For many busy families, it’s where they meet in the morning, it’s where they meet after work and school and it’s where guests are entertained on the weekends.  Given this very fact, this is one of the reasons why the kitchen has to be designed with a great deal of thought and deliberation when designing or remodeling the kitchen area. However, as with most things in life, there are a number of “do’s” and “don’ts” when it comes to kitchen design.  Thanks to the kitchen designing experts, Berloni America, here are the top six kitchen designing mistakes that people make when remodeling and designing their new kitchen space.

Design Mistake #1: Boring, boring, boring. If the kitchen is the center of attention in the house, then find a way to attract people to it other than just the food.  There are so many design trends to integrate into your kitchen design that there is simply no excuse to be boring in your design.  From back splashes, kitchen islands, cabinets, sinks, appliances, lighting—there’s simply too many elements and designing opportunities to take advantage of!

Design Mistake #2: Forgetting about seating. Even if you have a dining area in your home, forgetting about seating in your kitchen area is a big mistake.  In most kitchen these days, there is a lot of entertaining, chatting and socializing that takes place in the kitchen itself.  It’s no longer just the place to prepare the food.  Between bar seating, kitchen islands and even small breakfast nooks, don’t forget about seating to entertain in your new kitchen.

Design Mistake #3: Don’t waste valuable storage space.  Storage space is a must in any kitchen.  From storing dishes, cookware, spices, utensils, pantry foods, small appliances and other items for the kitchen, utilize as much space as possible (floor to ceiling, under the sink, kitchen islands, etc.) for storage.

Design Mistake #4: Poor lighting. Lighting is really important in the kitchen, particularly since it’s now a huge part of entertaining guests.  Whenever possible, natural light is always a plus.  However, having right functional lighting for kitchen tasks balanced out with ambient light for creating an environment that welcomes people in to come in and socialize is a must.

Design Mistake #5: Wrong kitchen island. Finding the right kitchen island for you is important.  Whether you need a kitchen island for a second sink, additional seating, overhead storage, added counter space, a place for the kids to do homework while supervised, etc.  Whatever the need may be for your home, make sure that you find the right kitchen island to fit your family’s needs.

Design Mistake #6: Not hiring professionals. Last, but certainly not least, one major mistake made in kitchen design is not hiring professionals to help you—both in design and in the remodeling of your kitchen.  The kitchen involves a number of integrated pieces of hardware, including plumbing, electronics and appliances.  It is important that these items are installed correctly and properly so that you don’t have to deal with the headaches (and costs) involved in the do-it-yourself disasters that ensue on construction projects gone bad.  Professional designers can also help you identify various designs that fit your needs and personal style.

The next time you are considering remodeling or upgrading your kitchen, consider contacting the professional designers at Berloni America - - the leaders in modern kitchen design.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Berloni America—leaders in modern Italian kitchen remodeling.  Contact us today for more information on how we can assist you with your next kitchen remodel.  We would love to connect with you on Facebook.

Photo Credit: Berloni America

Top 5 Kitchen Cleaning Do’s & Don’ts for Your Contemporary Kitchen

contemporary-kitchen-designs-2013-berloni-america-mediterraneaNow that you’ve upgraded your kitchen either with a makeover or an entire remodel, there are always general maintenance and upkeep that everyone should do to keep that kitchen as appealing as possible to you and your guests, especially given that the kitchen can be one of the dirtiest rooms in your home. Thanks to the folks at Berloni America, here are the Top 5 Cleaning “Do’s” and “Don’ts” for your contemporary kitchen.

TOP 5 KITCHEN CLEANING DO’S

  1. DO a thorough cleaning at least once every week. Beyond just general maintenance that you can and should do after using your kitchen, this is a thorough cleaning which involves cleaning up the floor, stovetop, oven, refrigerator doors, countertops, sinks, etc.
  2. DO invest in antibacterial wipes. Antibacterial wipes are a far better option for general maintenance and cleaning up and provide additional cleaning power over just water. And since they’re disposable, you can help guarantee no additional re-contamination.
  3. DO use protective gloves while cleaning and doing the dishes.  Some people don’t like wearing gloves, but gloves serve 2 purposes.  First, they protect your hands and skin from cleaning products.  Second, they allow you to get the water hot enough to help ward off any bacteria.  Just make sure to replace your protective gloves regularly.
  4. DO regularly throw away that sponge.  Sponges are bacteria magnets and should be replaced at a minimum of once every week (to every other week).  You can retain the life of your sponges by boiling them in hot water, but ultimately replacing with a brand new one is your safest bet.
  5. DO look at the labels on your cleaning agents.  Some cleaning products are intended for the kitchen, around surfaces and other areas that may come into contact with food and other items for consumption.  Make sure that you’re not using cleaning products that are too harsh or harmful for your kitchen.

TOP 5 KITCHEN CLEANING DON’TS

  1. DON’T forget to wash your towels.  Towels in the kitchen (including oven mitts and hot pads) are often overlooked when it’s time to do laundry.  Be sure to regularly wash any towels you may keep around the kitchen.
  2. DON’T let the trash bin linger.  If you throw away any kind of food that may spoil easily or smell after being left out for some time, you will want to immediately throw your trash away, even if it’s not full.  You may also wish to invest in either a trash compactor or a trash can that supplies a lid.
  3. DON’T neglect your dishwasher.  If you have a dishwasher, USE IT!  You may be one of those people that prefer to wash your dishes by hand. This is fine, but one of the advantages of using your dishwasher is the ability to give your dishes a hot wash and dry that can help disinfect your dishes before use again.
  4. DON’T overlook cabinet and drawer liners.  Cabinet and drawer liners can help with cleanup, depending on the kind of cabinets and drawers you have.  It can make it easier for cleaning by allowing for an easily cleanable surface or can be easily replaced.
  5. DON’T forget the little things.  There are many things in your kitchen that you may neglect to think needs replacing beside the obvious.  One is your dish drain, which can very easily and quickly build up dust, dirt, bacteria and mildew.  Another is that baking soda box in your refrigerator.  Go through your kitchen and take a look at different tools, accessories and other items that may require your attention—either a cleaning or replacement.

Everyone has their own idea of best practices for cleaning and maintaining their kitchen.  These are some helpful tips about how to maintain its sanitary state and beautiful makeover and/or remodel.  No matter what practices you choose to do, just remember that remodeling your kitchen or updating its look requires ongoing maintenance and cleaning, particularly given that it’s the place you cook, prepare meals you consume and is often a gathering place in your home for people (and their germs!).  You will want to impress and show off your new kitchen to your friends, family and guests—so don’t forget to clean and maintain it!

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Berloni America—leaders in modern Italian kitchen remodeling.  The designers at Berloni America can help you design your next kitchen with storage and organization in mind. Contact us today for more information on how we can assist you with your next kitchen remodel.  We would love to connect with you on Facebook.

Photo Credit: MEDITERRANEA via Berloni America