Month: April 2020

How to Clean Stone Countertop Surfaces

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cleaning stone countertop surfaces

Stone has played a central role in interior decorating for centuries, yet we rarely consider the specific needs of stone when it comes to appropriate cleaning and home care. Anyone who has ever taken geology can tell you that every type of stone varies widely in terms of hardness, porosity, and chemical make-up. All of these traits factor into the ways we treat them when they’re incorporated into our homes. To protect the beautiful stone countertops in our homes, let’s look at some of the most common stone types featured in home décor and their care requirements.

Limestone

Limestone can be a beautiful addition to your home, but its physical properties mean that it needs to be treated with a great deal of care. The quarried, natural stone is more porous than many of its counterparts. It is also high in calcium carbonate. The result is that limestone is very sensitive to acidic materials. 

A competent installer will make sure to seal the limestone to protect it from daily wear. Still, you will need to use neutral PH or alkaline cleansers designed specifically for limestone surfaces. We suggest that you let a layer of cleanser sit on the surface without drying. Use a microfiber cloth to clean off the cleaner. Then use warm water and another clean cloth. 

Marble

Marble is relatively similar to limestone in terms of its composition. It contains a lot of calcium carbonate, making it vulnerable to acidic foods, drinks, and products. It will also require sealing more than once. In fact, lighter marbles may need to be sealed as often as every three to six months. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to seal your own countertops as long as they are properly cleaned first.

As with limestone, you’ll want to look for a non-acidic cleanser. A PH neutral dish soap mixed with water does the trick. Use a gentle cloth to scrub and then follow up with an absorbent towel that you can use to remove all moisture and buff the surface before sealing.

Granite

Granite is naturally anti-bacterial and pretty easy to care for once it’s properly sealed. Darker granite, in particular, only have to be sealed about once a year, so they’re a little easier to maintain. However, granite is susceptible to scratching and staining, so cutting boards are a must.

When it comes to cleaning, combine four cups of warm water with a teaspoon of dish soap in a spray bottle. Spritz the counter and gently scrub down with a microfiber cloth. Then just let them air dry. For tough stains, use a stone poultice designed for the task or mix baking soda with hydrogen peroxide to create a paste.

Sintered Stone

Sintered stone countertops are some of the sturdiest options available on the market. Neolith uses a sealant that protects them against extreme temperatures, acids, scratches, and fractures. 

However, it is still a good idea to use non-acidic cleansers for lesser stains. But, if there is a mess that takes something heavier, sintered stone can handle it. We also advise considering a water softening system if you have hard water.  

Quartz

Quartz has many of the same requirements as quarried stone countertops. But, as with limestone and concrete, their seals are long-lasting to permanent depending on care. You will want to use a gentle cleanser. They can also be vulnerable to oils, so make sure you have a non-bleach degreaser on hand to remove oils.

Soapstone

Soapstone is one of the few non-porous options on the market, with quartz and concrete also falling into that category. This makes them less likely to stain and generally easier to clean. In fact, you can use pretty much any cleanser, but you should avoid harsh scrubbing tools. If you do see scratches in the surface, then you can buff mineral oil onto the counter to reduce its visibility. If you do apply mineral oil, then switch to milder soaps for future cleaning.

How to Style a Kitchen With Accessories

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New kitchen renovation accessories

Building a brand-new kitchen, or completing a new kitchen renovation, can give your whole home a breath of fresh air. Kitchens are almost always the main room of the house, especially when it comes to design and popularity. As a homeowner, you likely spend a lot of time in your kitchen – possibly even more than you think! It only makes sense that you want it to be the best-decorated room in the home, too. 

Below, you’ll find some of our favorite decorating ideas when it comes to adding accessories to your kitchen. You’ve likely already got the big things settled – furniture, cabinets, countertops, and appliances – but now you need to add those little touches that will bring the room to life. Our LEICHT experts are here to help!

Baskets and Sliding Doors Galore

Once your new kitchen is set up, you need to start thinking about where you’re going to store all of the little things. Aside from the pantry, you may need additional storage space to fit all of those things you don’t want to leave out. This means appliances, cookie cutters, spices, and all of those little things that you don’t use constantly. 

The best way to come up with neat and simple storage space is to use baskets and sliding cabinet doors. Perhaps you have some cubby space above or below your pre-installed cabinets. Find some cute or creative baskets to slide into these spaces so that those little things will be hidden in plain sight. 

Mix Your Materials

Mixing and matching different materials in your new kitchen renovation is a long-time favorite, according to Good Housekeeping. If you have different decor ideas, why not try them all out at once? 

Try juxtaposing your favorite materials to create an eclectic mix of decor that can really liven up the kitchen. Different shades of wood, different types of stone, and various surface textures can especially make the place pop. 

Add a Pop of Color

There’s nothing wrong with monochrome or dual-toned kitchens; in fact, it’s one of the most popular designs. But you can take a little a long way by adding a touch of color. If white is your primary kitchen theme, add some bright yellow or blue lampshades to the hanging lights. It will bring out the natural beauty and brightness of the kitchen, making you want to spend more and more time in this now colorful space!

Beautify Your Backsplash

If you don’t have a lot of room for small decorations and knick-knacks, you can always turn to the walls for inspiration. A kitchen backsplash is a picture that speaks 1,000 words. The more creative you get with it, the more value and depth you can add to the whole room. 

We recommend a patterned tile backsplash consisting of one or two colors to bring out some of the room’s accents while bringing everything together in a decorative way. You can check out some Home Depot tiles for inspiration!

Cookie Jars! Pepper Shakers! You Name It!

Let’s talk things. You know, little things that go on top of tables and countertops. You don’t need to resort to cluttering, but having small decorations here and there can breathe a whole new life into the room. Creative salt and pepper shakers, hand-painted cookie jars, and even fun little appliances can make the space look charming but lived-in. You want the appeal of the kitchen to really stand out, especially if you are ever considering selling your home. This is your chance to have fun with it and let your personality shine through!

Get New Kitchen Cabinets Today

The cabinets are one of the most eye-drawing features of a kitchen, especially a newly-renovated kitchen. If you’re looking for even more ideas to decorate your new kitchen renovation with, or you want to consult with someone about upgrading to new cabinets, our pros are here to help. You can contact us online or give us a call at 1-888-209-5240 to speak with a friendly representative. 

Defining the Contemporary Kitchen

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Contemporary Kitchen Design

When we discuss kitchen design, terms like moderntraditionalcontemporary, and classic get thrown around. But, it is often without any context or set definition. What’s worse is that they’re used interchangeably with no respect for their actual meaning. However, each term does have a specific meaning that indicates particular stylistic decisions. Today, let us start with one of the most abused words in kitchen design: “contemporary.”

What Does Contemporary Mean?

“Contemporary” is a complex term that has several meanings. First, it can refer to two items, people, or events that exist in a concurrent time. The second meaning points to something current or in the present moment. 

Regarding kitchen design, we have the second definition in mind. This can be confusing, as you’ve probably also heard of modern kitchen design.

Ok. Then What is Modern?

For home design, “modern” does not actually refer to current times. Instead, it is intended to reflect a fresh take on the mid-20th century style. Therefore, despite its name, modern kitchen design is based on historical trends. Specifically, it deals with trends associated with the 1950s and 1960s. Around this time, the nuclear family and suburban home were becoming standard.

By contrast, the “contemporary” kitchen is a much more fluid design concept. It is one that we are currently inventing as a reflection of the most current trends without strong historical antecedents. The result is that contemporary kitchens do not all look alike, but they do share an aesthetic flavor. 

Categorizing the Contemporary

In practice, contemporary kitchens can range from warm and homey to cool and sleek. There are five characteristics that you will almost always find in a contemporary kitchen. Each of these indicates that the role of the design is to use form in the service of function.

Slab-Front Full Overlay Cabinets

You will find slab-front cabinets in practically every contemporary kitchen. These are designed to maximize perceived space and minimize cleaning time. There are no grooves, no wood detailing, and even the hardware is simple and elegant. One wipe is all it takes to keep these beautiful cabinets looking as fresh as the day they were installed. So, it’s no wonder they’re so popular. You can see an example here, represented by Leicht’s Nobilia collection.

Minimalism

Minimalism, as an aesthetic choice, makes perfect sense for the current American family. As most of us live in two-income households, there isn’t one person who can dedicate their working hours to keeping the home spotless. Let’s face it. Getting rid of clutter makes a massive difference. The contemporary kitchen emphasizes sleek, uninterrupted lines, making empty counters the ideal. 

Clean Horizontal Lines

The clean, uninterrupted surface of the cabinets and other kitchen surfaces serves yet another practical purpose. Contemporary kitchens almost always use clever horizontal lines to give the illusion of a larger kitchen space. This feature makes contemporary kitchen design a great option for smaller spaces. This is true, particularly given the style’s emphasis on smart storage. 

Innovative Storage

In the service of function, contemporary cabinets have more than just speed cleaning in mind. They also tend to use creative storage solutions to maximize your storage space. They do this more efficiently than practically any other cabinet styles. For an example, check out this divided tall pantry. What once required four cabinets now fits into one. Also, you don’t have to worry about anything being hard to reach.

Geometric Forms

With flat cabinet surfaces and minimalistic approach, a contemporary kitchen can lack interest and dimension. But only if you aren’t careful. Be sure to choose complementary colors and countertops that provide a contrast effect. Another choice many designers make is to include geometric forms in light fixtures and furnishings. Having these offers more depth. 

Considering the Contemporary Kitchen

A contemporary kitchen design provides a great way to achieve a sleek and practical area. The kitchen, after all, is one of the most highly trafficked rooms in your home. Making it functional is important, of course. But having style takes it to another level. With its emphasis on light and clean lines, contemporary kitchens feel as open as they are clean. This feeling makes them a welcoming space for you to share at any time.