YOUR REMODELER FOR LIFE!

Old Is Back And Now New Is Here To Stay

“Don’t throw the past away. You might need it some rainy day. Dreams can come true again. When everything old is new again.” -Peter Allen, Songwriter/Performer

 

With new technologies coming to the market every day when you see something old coming back it brings a little coziness back into your home. Lots of styles from older generations are making a comeback with a hint of modern appeal but also old objects that use to have a use are coming back with a different use intended. Check out some of the things below to see if you want to add these to your next remodel.

 

Dutch Doors Dutch doors became popular in the 18th century by Dutch settlers of New York and New Jersey. They have split down the middle horizontally and traditionally used for stables to keep animals on one side and children on the other side while allowing for light and air to filter through. They are still used in barns for horses to look out of their stalls but keep them confined but they are becoming quite popular inside the household for ventilation.

 

Sleeping Porches– These became popular in the 20th century because it was advocated by health professionals that the fresh air helped with the immune systems. They became very popular in the south and west when sleeping outdoors was cooler and more comfortable. This was before air conditioners of course. In Arizona, they are called Arizona-rooms.

 

Transom Windows A panel of windows above doorways to let more light in when there was a lack of electricity or air conditioning became popular. Also, it was a great way to circulate air when doors were closed for privacy. Of course, the beauty of glass is why this has become an old new feature to add to design.

 

Stained Glass– This type of glass has been around for thousands of years and is a timeless feature but traditionally seen in churches or other significant buildings. It was made from flat panels and used as windows, the creation of modern stained glass also include three-dimensional structures and sculptures. It is colored by adding metallic salts during its manufacture. Then it is arranged in small pieces to form patterns or pictures. Nowadays it is referred to as art glass and seeing more of a variety of use than just windows.

 

Laundry Chute– With technology increasing so dramatically. We are wanting things to be easier to get the job done. Washer and dryers now have built-in steam options, specific load options even all in one job for tiny-living. Why not go back to the nearly forgotten feature of having a laundry chute. With 2 story homes or homes with basements, it makes sense to provide a low-tech convenience into one of the never-ending chores.

 

Intercoms/Video– These have not only come back but have capabilities our ancestors wouldn’t even dream of consisting of remote modules in several areas of the house, music options surround sound throughout the house or even video and surveillance systems right at your fingertips. You can even buy a phone system with a built-in intercom functionality if you want to avoid hardwiring in your home.

 

Clawfoot Tubs– These tubs provide a deeper soak than most modern tubs today, plus add a whimsical look to your bathroom. It is popular to even have them outside and bathe under the stars. Whatever suits your fancy. You can find these tubs inexpensively at salvage yards. With some porcelain paint and TLC, you can bring life to the old. Manufacturers are also making them brand new if that is a better route for you.

 

Rumford Fireplace– Henry David Thoreau once counted his Rumford fireplace as a modern convenience that was often overlooked by his contemporaries. Common in the early to mid-1800’s they were tall and not very deep, which allows them to reflect most of the heat generated by the burning wood back into the room. With utility costs increasing, this old design is becoming popular again as a way to save some real money.

 

Pocket Shutters- These were popular in the 18th & 19th century when walls were very thick providing a deep window jamb whose pockets could contain an entire interior shutter. These unique architectural details are coming back because they provide not only privacy but also insulation or shade when the elements really start to become overbearing.

 

Pocket Doors– These type of doors disappear when fully open, into a compartment in the adjacent wall. They were mainly used for an architectural effect or when there is no room for the swing of a hinged door. They travel on rollers suspended from an overhead track and floor track. They were particularly common in Victorian homes to close off such areas as sitting rooms or dens but now they are useful for walk-in closets and bathrooms to help save space

 

Dumbwaiter– These are convenient for carrying items like laundry and food from floor to floor in the 19th century. Today they have become popular again in restaurants and schools but homeowners are catching on to the fad and enhancing their multi-level homes with state of the art models.

 

Mail SlotWith the rise of online bill pay and the decline of USPS, and the increase of stolen identity through the mail; mail slots have become popular among the older neighborhoods that don’t have a community mail area. They are so sleek and secure.

 

Ceiling MedallionsThis was popular among upper-class homes in the 19th century which were designed to add architectural interest and beauty to the room. Usually above a chandelier so it could emphasize the patterns. Then they were usually made from paper mache or heavy materials like iron or marble. Now you can get the same look made from foam, plastic or wood.

 

Picture Railing MouldingThis was used to provide a way to hang artwork on plaster walls that could crumble under the force of a hammer and nail back in the Victorian Era. Nowadays it is a visually appealing design element that lets you hang art in a unique way.

 

             

 

Feel free to Contact Us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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Kid-Friendly Kitchens!

When remodeling your kitchen if you plan on living there for awhile and you have children then plan your remodeling with them in mind. Custom-design a daily hangout that’s tailored to your family’s needs. Children in the past decades were supposed to be seen and not heard. But, today, kids are appreciated as the independent humans they are, and it is very easy to devise rooms that suit all needs. For today’s families, who often consider the kitchen to be the soul of their home, it’s important to help youngsters feel comfortable. The kitchen is not just a place of physical nourishment. It also serves as a daily hangout spot, a homework center, and the family headquarters. Number one priority is keeping it safe for children especially if they are small still. Have in mind opting for rounded furniture, locking mechanisms for lower cabinets, or covering up outlets. A home should also be about fun, functional, and beautiful for both grownups and the kids. Below are a few things to consider to make it kid-friendly.

 

  1. Give them their own stuff and own space. If the kitchen is already a place where the kids tend to congregate then creating a space specifically for them makes sense. A durable quartz countertop is perfect for kids because it’s stain resistant, maintenance-free and usually come with a lifetime warranty if you go with a high-quality company. You can make a special spot in the kitchen for them and even have the countertop at a lower level so it gives them their own workspace. If you don’t have a lot of space then you can create a pullout countertop in a kitchen island.
  2. Build a replaceable home design element that grows not just with your kid’s heights, but with their personalities and tastes also. Choose kitchen cabinets that have handles you can swap out in few years. Install short pendant lamps now and get longer ones when your toddlers aren’t trying to climb on the dining room table. Lighter colors can be painted over easily compared to darker ones so make sure the kitchen area is on the lighter side.
  3. Keep your kitchen looking good. Choose surfaces wisely with children. Make sure they are scratch-resistant and can stand up to amateur etching artists.

Some Tips on Kid-Friendly Kitchens

  • Have a chalkboard on the wall or pantry door.
  • Put kids dishes within arms reach.
  • Provide a step-stool for kids to help out in the kitchen.
  • Have a snack zone in the refrigerator for easy grab n go.
  • Computer corner or built-in desk.
  • Choose cabinets that hide fingerprints.
  • Go with durable slip-resistant flooring.
  • Go with a semi-gloss paint, stains, fingerprints & scribbles wipe off easier.
  • Install a warming drawer to help with cooking.

 

It’s important to take into consideration that when remodeling with your kids in mind is that they grow quickly and creating a space that is interchangeable is ideal. That way you can change the details as they grow out of them. The things like cabinets, countertops, and appliances will be there for a long time so those can be standard and choose what looks best for you with durability in mind. The rest can be customized and changed out as time progresses.

 

Questions to Ask:

  • How many children do you have, and how old?
  • How does each family member use the kitchen?
  • Do children prepare their own snacks and/or meals?
  • What about pets?
  • Who hosts the family gatherings, and how large are these events?
  • Do you cook for family gatherings (or order take-out, rely on a caterer)?
  • How many family members cook in the kitchen at one time?
  • What is each person’s role in the kitchen? (For example, dad cooks on weekends, mom makes everyday meals, children prepare their own breakfast, etc.)
  • Describe a day in the life of your kitchen. What works? What doesn’t?

 

   

 

Utensils to help kids cook in the kitchen

Eating at home is the best way to stay healthy in a society where obesity and diet-related diseases are worldwide which is second to smoking in the US. When we cook at home, we control the fat, cholesterol, sodium and sugar we consume. If we use fresh ingredients as much as possible then we can create a better path for our children to adopt a lifetime of better eating habits. The best way to do this is to get them in the kitchen and start cooking meals with us to teach them the basic tools of healthy eating. Legendary French knife maker Opinel has created Le Petit Chef set, kid-friendly cooking tools that promote proper and safe knife handling. The child-size kitchen knife and vegetable peeler both feature what Opinel has dubbed an “educational ring.” The child’s index finger slips into the ring, properly positioning the hand on the tools, away from the blades. The knife blade has a rounded tip for additional safety. They are not toys. Since 1890, Opinel has made handcrafted wooden handled folding pockets knives; originally sold as working men’s knives, they have become iconic french tools.

 

Here are some kid-friendly kitchen tools to look into for your kids to have fun in the kitchen and learn the basics of cooking:

Le Petit Chef Set

Popsicles Makers

Flexible Mixing Bowls

Snow Cone Maker

Measuring Cups

Cotton Candy Machine

Silicone Cookware

 

  

 

Feel free to Contact Us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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