Thursday, January 27, 2011

What were they thinking Thursday? Clear that Clutter!

The kitchen is the most common gathering place in a home. In most homes, it truly is the heart of the home. It's where families are fed and friends are gathered. This is why it is so common for this particular space to stay unorganized and messy. After reading this blog you are going to have very helpful tools to help you get that clean, clutter-free kitchen you've always wanted.

Take a look at some good examples of bad, junky, cluttered kitchens!

How on earth does this person function in their kitchen?!? There is absolutely no work space.

There are no words for this...

For items such as spices and canisters of pasta, these do not need to be on display. Also, notice that there are 2 knife sets. I would remove the set above the stove. Even, though it's not on the counter it makes the space look crowded.

Please do not leave food out on your counter. There is a reason we have pantries. If you do not have a pantry, designate specific cabinets for food only.

A lot of people stack their small appliances or spoons next to one another on the counter. This looks junky and takes up valuable prep space.

Now, lets take a look at some great options to keep those countertops clutter free.

These are great options if you are remodeling or building a new house. Keep these ideas in mind for storage.
Bookshelves in the kitchen are great for cookbooks, magazines and to display items.

When you are designing a kitchen, keep in mind how many small kitchen appliances you have and use frequently. Appliance garages are a great way to hide the mixer, toaster oven, blender, etc...

This is a great looking bread box.

This is great for the small appliances that you use everyday. Pull out, push in.

For those of you who need functional storage ideas for your current kitchen take a look below.

Roll-out under cabinet drawers are a great way to make the most out of your storage. These allow you to completely use all of the space your cabinets have to offer. Click here to find out where to buy.
Baskets look great under a island or in open shelving. They are easy to pile stuff in and still look great. Crate and Barrel has a large selection of baskets you can choose from.
This is a great option for storing spices in a cabinet. I personally have this spice shelf in my kitchen and I love it. It's simple and functional. This can be purchased at your local Bed Bath & Beyond.
If anyone of you are like me, then your mail ends up on the kitchen counter. By the end of the week there is a HUGE mound of letters and magazines. The Container Store has great options to keep your mail organized.

Pottery Barn has great storage solutions. My father-in-law gave me the letter bin and dry-erase calendar for Christmas. I LOVE it! It looks great and keeps my mail off of my kitchen counter.

If your cabinets are packet tight and you simply must have your small appliances on your counter, you should think about using a cute appliance cover. These are easy to make or you can find them on Etsy.
This is cute for a fun, contemporary kitchen. I love the pocket for the spoon. This fabric is from Ikea. Check out Etsy for this exact cover.

Check out Etsy to find this adorable mixer cover.

This is such a cute toast cover. Check out Etsy to find others just like it.

Here are pictures of kitchens that are clutter free and look fabulous.

It is ok to have 1-2 small appliances out. Just make sure thats not the first thing you see when you walk into your kitchen.

This kitchen has lots of storage. Notice the appliance garage in the far corner. Also, the canisters and paper towel holder match.

Here are a few exceptions to clearing the clutter.

All of these kitchens are very appealing because the kitchen accessories match the theme of the kitchen. It is very important that the items that will stay on the counter color coordinate well with the rest of the kitchen.

Peter Walsh is an expert organizer and clutter-clearer gooroo. Check out his tips on how to keep your kitchen and dining room clutter free.

Try to set aside some time this weekend and clear the clutter off your kitchen counters. Send us pictures of your storage solutions and we'll post them on our blog.

Have a blessed day, Hannah

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Pulp-Textiles

Let's start off with the basic information:
Textile refers to any material made of interlacing fibres. Textiles can be made from many materials. These materials come from four main sources: animal (wool, silk), plant (cotton, flax, jute), mineral (asbestos, glass fiber), and synthetic (nylon, polyester, acrylic). Textiles are sometimes finished by chemical processes to change their characteristics. Textiles that are finished by chemical processes are often used in commercial applications such as: healthcare and education.

Synthetic Textiles

Nylon fibres are used in many applications, including fabrics, bridal veils, carpets, musical strings, and rope. This man-made fiber is the second most used fiber in the United States. Nylon was intended to be a synthetic replacement for silk and substituted for it in many different products after silk became scarce during World War II. It replaced silk in military applications such as parachutes and flak vests, and was used in many types of vehicle tires. Nylon is highly resilient, has excellent abrasion resistance and high elongation.

Polyester fabrics woven from polyester thread or yarn are used extensively in apparel and home furnishings, from shirts and pants to jackets and hats, bed linens, blankets and upholstered furniture. Industrial polyester fibers, yarns and ropes are used in tyre reinforcements, fabrics for conveyor belts, safety belts, coated fabrics and plastic reinforcements with high-energy absorption. Polyester fiber is used as cushioning and insulating material in pillows, and upholstery padding. While synthetic clothing in general is perceived by many as having a comforters less-natural feel compared to fabrics woven from natural fibres (such as cotton and wool), polyester fabrics can provide specific advantages over natural fabrics, such as improved wrinkle resistance, durability and high color retention.

Acrylic is lightweight, soft, and warm, with a wool-like feel. Acrylic is colored before it is turned into a fiber as it does not dye very well but has excellent colorfastness. Its fibers are not very resilient, and wrinkle easily, but most acrylic fabrics have good wrinkle resistance. Acrylic has recently been used in clothing as a less expensive alternative to cashmere, due to the similar feeling of the materials. The disadvantages of acrylic are that it tends to fuzz or pill easily and that it does not insulate the wearer as well as wool or cashmere.

Natural Textiles

Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and certain other animals, including cashmere from goats, and mohair from goats. The quality of wool is determined by the following factors, fiber diameter, crimp, yield, color, and staple strength. Fiber diameter is the single most important wool characteristic determining quality and price.In addition clothing, wool has been used for blankets, horse rugs, saddle cloths, carpeting, felt, wool insulation and upholstery.

Cotton is used to make a number of textile products. These include terrycloth for highly absorbent bath towels and robes; denim for blue jeans chambray, popularly used in the manufacture of blue work shirts (from which we get the term "blue-collar"); and corduroy, seersucker, and cotton twill. Socks, underwear, and most T-shirts are made from cotton. Bed sheets often are made from cotton. Cotton also is used to make yarn used in crochet and knitting. Fabric also can be made from recycled or recovered cotton that otherwise would be thrown away during the spinning, weaving, or cutting process. While many fabrics are made completely of cotton, some materials blend cotton with other fibers, including rayon and synthetic fiber as polyester. It can either be used in knitted or woven fabrics, as it can be blended with elastine to make a stretchier thread for knitted fabrics.

Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. Silk has a smooth, soft texture that is not slippery, unlike many synthetic fibres. Silk is one of the strongest natural fibres but loses up to 20% of its strength when wet. Silk's attractive luster and drape makes it suitable for many furnishing applications. It is used for upholstery, wall coverings, window treatments (if blended with another fiber), rugs, bedding and wall hangings.

Jute is a long, soft, shiny vegetable fibre that can be spun into coarse, strong threads. Jute is one of the most affordable natural fibre and is second only to cotton in amount produced and variety of uses of vegetable fibers. The fibres are also woven into curtains, chair coverings, carpets, area rugs, and backing for linoleum.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Textile Finishes for (typically) Commercial use

Crypton can be applied to fabric to repel spills. It also resists odors, mold, and mildew and prohibits bacteria and mold from spreading. Crypton can be applied to seating, drapery, wallcovering, car covers, and mattresses.
Check out for really cute pet beds.

GORE Seating Protection prevents stains and other substances from penetrating upholstery fabrics; can be used on virtually any textile.

Teflon is a soil and stain repellent treatment applied to the fabric face to repel water and oil-based stains. Teflon can be used on upholstery, bedding, commercial, technical fabrics, and apparel.

Nano-Tex technology builds breakthrough spill resistance right into the fibers of the fabric; becomes part of the fabric. Can be used for seating, drapery, wallcovering, etc. If you can cover it, you can protect it.


One advantage of vinyl over polyurethane is its ability to accept finishes. These finishes play a vital role in healthcare settings by protecting furnishings and people from harmful microbes and bacteria. Vinyl is extremely durable, resists moisture, and is easy to keep clean.

Vinyl Finishes

MorCare has stain resistance can be added for supreme performance vinyl upholstery, MorCare is antimicrobial and antibacterial resistance is ideal for environments where infection control is important.

Nanocide is extremely effective, environmentally friendly and non-toxic antimicrobial. The nanotechnology and process we developed permanently places or embeds the nanoparticles into the surface area of the product.

Permablok3 is a vinyl coating that is engineered to create a tough, effective barrier against the three biggest problems encountered in healthcare and hospitality environments: germs, abrasion, and stains.

PreFixx offers protection against microbes and bacteria. This anti-stain finish is easily cleaned, is urine stain resistant , and mildew resistant on the backing and face.

Resilience SR is stain resistance, and has antimicrobial and antibacterial protection.

New Products

Momentum Textiles’ journey began with an ambitious goal – creating an environmental alternative to vinyl and polyurethane. Developed over the course of two years, our goal was accomplished by creating a new coated fabric made from 51% silicone and 49% PLA; zero PVC and zero solvents. As the development of Silica progressed, unique performance characteristics continued to unfold. It is ink-erasable with water!

Silica is a Best of NeoCon award winner and the industry’s first and only environmental alternative to vinyl and polyurethane.

~ Miranda

Monday, January 24, 2011

Pull up a Seat

The dining room has changed a lot of the years. Nowadays, people like to mix it up. Gone are the days where everyone had a matching 5 piece dining room set with matching chairs.
People have become very creative when it comes to dining room seating. From benches to banquettes, anything goes!

These cubes with sheepskin throws look very chic all lined up.

If you want to accomplish a more custom look, one of the easiest things to do is switch out your two end chairs for something different.

Another great way to mix it up is add slip covers to your chairs. These can be completely custom and you can easily throw them in the wash if they get dirty.

Metal chairs look really cool and industrial. Try mixing them with some upholstered chairs to soften the look up if you want.

It can also look great to mix modern with antique. Check out the rooms below for a great eclectic display.

Modern chairs with rustic table.

Modern table with antique chairs.

Farmhouse chairs with more modern table.

A great option to use instead of chairs on all sides is a banquette. These can be built-ins or you can just use a settee.

I love the mix of more traditional shaped banquette with modern metal chairs. The only thing that I am kinda not crazy about is the scale of the chairs with the banquette. For some reason I just think those chairs look extra squatty with that tall back banquette.


I love this idea! Set up your table like a restaurant with two tables and banquette all around. So much fun.

Try a curved banquette for a round table.

I like this antique sofa used as a banquette. Not too sure how practical it would be though because you can really scoot it in and out very easily.

This is a very cool modern banquette. Love!

If you are tight on space, try building in a banquette, that way you can have more seating in a smaller space.

Love this!!

Perfect. I love the sconces mounted on the cabinets.

A great option to provide additional seating without taking up too much visual space is a bench.
I love this dining room! The cushion is a great option to add comfort for your guests.

Or try pillows to make things a little more fun.

This is a great example of using benches. These low profile benches are great because they don't block the beautiful view out the windows the way chairs would have.

A modern looking bench.

Very cool mix of chairs with a bench. If you like this table, it looks to be the Big Sur table from Crate and Barrel.

Benches are also great for kids and casual dining.

To add some pop to your dining room, try painting your chairs a fun color.

These french chairs are brought into the 21st century with this bright red paint!

If you are wary of painting the whole chair a bright color, try just painting the legs.

Beautiful room.

This is a super fun dining room! I love all the bright colors.

Update those old farm country chairs with some fresh paint.

Sometimes, it can be hard to make up your mind on which dining room chairs to buy, so why not buy some of each of your favorites!

I love this dining room with the mixed chairs!

Very cool shabby chic dining room.

Very unique way of mixing modern chairs for dining room seating.

A rustic country dining. Very casual and inviting!

You can even paint all your different chairs the same colors to make the table more cohesive.
I love Sarah Jessica Parker's dining room chairs. They remind me of cool silhouette art they way they are all painted black.

Another modern mix

Love! I could spend a lot of time in this room!

If you don't want to have all different chairs but still want to keep things interesting. Try using the same chair but in all different colors.

This looks like a perfect place to gather with friends. Colorful and fun!

Very cool colorful scoop chairs.

I love this! Metal chairs painted different colors but still the same hue.

Each one doesn't have to be a different color. Try just throwing one or two into the mix.

I love these! Very slightly different shades of the same color.

Very fun, pick a color any color!

And then lastly, you can always just try all of the above!

Antique and modern, mixed chairs, different end chairs, banquette and bright colors!

Who's ready for a dining room makeover? I know I am! I think it's time to get sewing and painting. Maybe I will add fun slip covers, or build a banquette. The options are endless!