JoAnn M. Drabble's Blog
Kitchens have become the new hip gathering spot in the home. With open floor plans, kitchens are combining the cooking, dining, and hanging out areas of your home and meshing them into one big room. Counters and islands have become tables, trading for fancy dining tables. People tend to congregate in the kitchen, allowing it to be the center of food, fun, and conversation. How can you make your kitchen ultra inviting? Below, you’ll find a few tips to help bring your kitchen to a new level of trendy.
Bright, Attractive Cabinets
Cabinets are one of the focal points of the kitchen. If you have bright cabinets, it attracts people to the room. The type of cabinets that you have also establish the type of style that you’re looking to create in the kitchen and possibly throughout your home. You’ll want to work the entire color palette of your kitchen around the color and style of your cabinets. As a bonus, good cabinets equal good storage. If your kitchen is organized, you’ll feel a lot happier and at ease in the room as well.
Kitchens are becoming increasingly technological. From smart, energy efficient appliances, to features of the kitchen that you can control with your smartphone, a kitchen can truly have it all. This makes entertaining a breeze. You could even get dinner going before you ever leave work! All of the new technologies that are being introduced surely make life much easier.
The type of lighting that you employ in the kitchen can set the tone for the whole room. Not only do you need good task lighting, but ambient lighting is important as well in order to attract guests to the main gathering place of the house. Whatever vibe you want your kitchen to give off works with the lighting that’s available. The kitchen certainly should never be a dark room. Consider the safety factor that’s needed in the room, then realize just how inviting a room is that is bright and airy. It’s important to plan out your lighting scheme accordingly when it comes to your kitchen.
One thing you’ll want plenty of in your kitchen is storage. This helps to reduce clutter, increase organization and makes entertaining an easier undertaking. Guests will feel more welcome as there will be ample room to sit and hang out while prepping and cooking are going on.
It seems that trends in kitchens are always changing, however, many things remain constant. The need for a clean and organized gathering area in your home will never go away.
622 Foundry Street, Easton, MA 02375
Things You Can Clean in a Dishwasher
1. Ziploc bags
A trip through the dishwasher will give used Ziploc bags a good cleaning. Just make sure you spread the bag open on some prongs, so the water gets down in it completely.
2. Bathroom wastebaskets
Bathroom waste baskets can collect some nasty gunk over time. Fit them into the dishwasher (you may need to remove the top rack) and run them through a normal cycle.
3. Plastic or glass art stuff
Your paint mixing cups or brush-rinsing jars should do just fine in the dishwasher. If you don’t clean these items regularly, scraping off the crud by hand can be an awful job.
Scrape off any big, dried chunks first (the ones that come off easily) to avoid gumming up the works in the dishwasher.
4. Plastic Hair Brushes, Combs, headbands, barrettes, etc.
These items can get gunky from hair oils and product over time. Pull any strands of hair out of them, then put them in a dishwasher basket on the top rack and run them through a typical cycle.
Please note: only do this with plastic a metal items. No wood handles and no natural brush fibers.
5. Pet dishes
It’s actually recommended by vets to run pet dishes through a dishwasher at least occasionally, to prevent them growing bacteria which can make pets sick. You can do this alongside people dishes, unless you have a baby and/or a family member with immune system problems. In that case, you’d want to run them separately on the sanitizing cycle.
6. Soap dishes, toothbrush holders, other bathroom items
Personal care items that get gunky or filmy over time can be run through a normal cycle on the top rack, along with your other dishes on a routine dish washing.
7. Metal fixtures
Put clogged shower heads, grungy faucets and similar gunky items through a pots and pans cycle on the top rack, along with your regular pots and pans.
8. Sponges and dish brushes
Along with a regular dishwashing on a normal cycle, throw in your sponges and brushes for dishes to give them a thorough cleaning and, in the case of the sponges, remove the bacteria so they’ll be safe to use until they start falling apart.
9. Gardening tools
Wash plastic-handled (no wood!) trowels and other small gardening tools on the top rack, in a separate load (just in case they have traces of fertilizer and other stuff you don’t want getting onto your dishes).
10. Plastic baby toys
Teething rings and other plastic toys babies put in their mouths deserve a good cleaning. Put them in the dishwasher basket or in a mesh bag on the top rack and wash them along with the regular dishes.
11. Fake plastic flowers
Run them through on a normal cycle to restore their original luster. Make sure every part of the fake plant is plastic – sometimes they have paper stems (but you may be able to pop the plastic petal part off, wash it, and pop it right back on).
12. Microwave trays, drip pans, etc.
Use a normal cycle to clean the tray from your microwave, your drip pans and any other metal grease-collecting objects that could use their shine restored.
13. Dust pans
Run a dust pan through on the top rack, in a separate load from plates you eat on.
14. Light fixture globes
Glass and acrylic light fixture globes can be run through a delicate cycle, without a drying cycle.
15. Baseball caps and visors
Plastic hats will clean up with a wash on the top rack. Wash them in a separate cycle from your dishes and use borax instead of dish detergent. You may need to reshape the hats a little while they dry.
16. Fans – any removable plastic bits
The cage and blades of a fan get disgusting over time. Remove those parts and put them through a regular cycle on the top rack. Do NOT include any electrical cords or parts as they won’t dry out and could shock you when you plug them in.
17. Golf balls
Toss them in with the dishes, in a dishwasher basket so they can’t bang into the rest of your load.
18. Spice and condiment containers
Empty your spice containers once in a while, and run them through a regular cycle. Be sure they’re completely dry before you put the spices back in.
19. Pet door flaps
Remove that pet flap from your door and throw it in the dishwasher for a good cleaning.
Sneakers, crocs and sandals can generally be run through the dishwasher. Avoid putting shoes with suede, leather or wood parts into the dishwasher, as they can shrink and/or crack.
21. Sports equipment
Shin guards and other plastic sports equipment can be run through a dishwasher on a normal cycle. Skip the dry cycle.
22. Removable car cup holders
Or any other plastic removable bits from a car can be run through on a normal cycle, as part of a normal load.
23. Fridge shelves
Many fridge shelves can be put in the dishwasher to wash. You may need to pull out the top rack to fit them in.
24. Vent covers
You know those metal plates that cover a central air or furnace shaft? Unscrew them from the wall and run them through a normal cycle.
You can clean potatoes on a quick rinse cycle without detergent. This is probably a waste of water and electricity compared to doing it by hand unless you’re doing dishes, too.
26. Vacuum cleaner attachments
Run them through on a normal cycle if they’re gunky.
27. Hub caps
Make them look shiny and new by putting them through a normal cycle.
215 Hathaway Road, Acushnet, MA 02743
1. Paint the walls
A bucket of paint doesn’t have to break the bank, and can make a world of difference. Tone down any vibrant wall colors and spruce up the other walls with a fresh coat of neutral paint. Avoid any tones that are intense and dark to ensure that your home appeals to the widest range of people.
2. Make repairs you’ve been putting off
If you’ve been working on some simple home repairs that have yet to be finished, or you know of some necessary maintenance needs that have to be handled, now is the time to take care of them. The buyer’s home inspector will find these issues anyway, so you’re better off fixing them now without holding up offers you could be getting in the meantime. In addition, it is not uncommon for a buyer to revoke an offer if the home inspection report comes back with an abundance of safety concerns and needed repairs.
3. Change up the flooring
Changing the flooring may seem like an expensive “fix,” but it doesn’t have to be. If you have a wood floor, re-stain it. If you have old carpeting, hire a professional cleaning company to make it look brand-new again, and replace any old, torn vinyl flooring. You also have the option of adding an area rug onto old flooring or carpets. Floors take up a huge part of the home, and if they are stained or dated, potential buyers will take notice—and more importantly, they will be turned off.
4. Install new countertops
Similar to the prior fix, this one can sound a little pricey, but as you’ve probably heard before, the kitchen and bathrooms are the main selling points of a home. If you’re serious about selling your property quickly, you may want to consider updating these areas with new countertops. Get rid of the laminate, and opt for natural stone, quartz or solid surface countertops. Buyers will notice.
5. Hire a stager
You will be amazed at how moving around some furniture can completely change the aesthetics of your home. Hire a stager, and let his or her expertise bring more value to your property, and a higher number than your asking price. It’s key to hire an experienced stager who has an excellent track record, and an even better portfolio, to ensure that you reap all the benefits.
With a few fixes, your home will be ready and primed to be put on the market. If possible, space these five fixes out over the course of a couple months prior to listing your home, and the renovations won’t feel like a major investment at all. With these small but effective tweaks, now you’ll be in a great position to sell your home and move on!