Kitchens Over The Last 100 Years

There was a time when kitchens weren’t the special spot in the house. It didn’t really have a social atmosphere for people to congregate to. They were purely used for servants and women of the house to prep food and that was it. Usually small unless it was the rich and then it was big because of all the servants who needed to prepare meals for everyone. Things have changed dramatically over the last 100 years.  Kitchens are now a place for the whole family to relax, work and socialize as well as cook. Modern kitchens spill out into the living room, garden area or patio to emphasize on entertaining family and friends. Below, we take a glance at how far and how much change has the everyday kitchen evolved into what it is today.


Before 1940

This was the era before kitchens were more than just a prepping area. Kitchens mostly consisted of wood. Kitchens started to take a turn in 1920 when the electric dishwasher was built but it wasn’t easy. Magazines would have to encourage husbands that he’d have a happier life if he had a happier wife. Women didn’t have the upper hand in buying things for the household so to free themselves from the curse of dish-washing, advertising companies had to convince the husband that it was a good investment. Some women reported washing 200+ pieces a day back then.




This was the era of appliances. Waffles irons, toasters, and percolators were some of the first to take popularity. Kitchens started to become more decorated with built-ins and pops of color especially in appliances like the fridge and stove. It was the age of fancy for the kitchen trend through the 60’s. Minimizing work was very important to the housewife and easy cleaning was a must so metal cabinets, stainless steel counters, and linoleum floors started to become the trend. The washing machine and wringer made its debut during this time and back then laundry rooms were non-existent so it was set up in the kitchen. Refrigerators stepped up their game and offered glass shelves, indoor compartments, crisper drawers, and freezers which made daily grocery shopping a thing of the past. The electric oven also became a household need instead of the original wood, coal or gas stoves. During this time is when kitchens started to become more inviting to friends and family trying to include the cook with the rest of the household. 



This was the decade for colors! This is where the harvest gold and avocado green were born. Kitchens started to become more opened up to include the eating area which created the work triangle and the U-shaped kitchen. It still gave kitchens the feeling of intimacy without completely enclosing the walls but also providing an open feel to it. Creating extra space for cooking and storage as well. Storage was huge in the 60’s and 70’s because of all the gadgets that were being invented so design ideas that helped with storage were a growing factor. Kitchen pegboards were one design that seemed to take off. It added a convenient way to keep pans within arms reach while adding an unexpected decorative element to space. Another boundary-breaking design that hit kitchens in this era was busy prints, especially in wallpaper. A few devices that were popular in the kitchen were microwaves, which changed how cooking was done from here on out. Fridges even stepped up their game and added more features like water and ice dispensers from the door. The phone also became a household item and usually was found in the kitchen. 




This is the era we are all running away from now. Oak cabinets, frilly window treatments and color palettes that are now heavy-handed. Bright colors and busy patterns started to fade from kitchen decor and neutrals started to make its way into the kitchen. Pastels and bright hues were still popular but it tended to be more in the accents. Natural light, open shelving, and islands were trendy now that the kitchen started to become a place for socializing. The 80’s brought the home computer and a new fad was eat-in kitchens. After the 90’s, Linoleum floors and Formica counters faded into tile floors and granite counters to make kitchens look more timeless.


Modern Day

One style that is sticking around since the 80’s and 90 ’s is natural light, open shelving, and islands. 2000 kitchens differ greatly from 2018 kitchens and will also continue to change by 2030 but the design goal with kitchens of the 21st century is to reach an aesthetically pleasing and functional kitchen that is timeless. Kitchens today are all about the amenities and unique storage options. While modern minimalist designs are popular so is the old-fashioned farmhouse look with a modern touch. Kitchens have become the center of the home bringing families closer together. Appliances have become smarter than the average joe, from remote access to automated encyclopedia by voice activation, the wave of the future has changed the way we do things. With both parents working full-time careers, the kitchen has become less for prepping and more for gathering.


Kitchens have definitely changed a lot over the last 100 years and will continue to change in the next 100 years to come. One thing to remember when renovating your kitchen is choosing a contractor to listen to your wants or needs and communicating with you every step of the way. Need a free estimate give us a call and we will make your dream kitchen come to life.


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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The Scoop On White Kitchens

White kitchens have definitely stayed a trend for homeowners over the last 20 years and is continuing to rise for the next few years to come. All white kitchens tend to have a timeless quality and are almost able to camouflage their age. Since it is such a universal color, white is appropriate for any style of decor, whether it’s traditional Victorian, modern contemporary, retro and vintage, mid-century, or industrial. The versatility is another reason why white kitchens are so popular, it tends to be appealing to most people due to being both basic and bold, vivid and dramatic and not too flashy. They could also be considered a template for additional personalization if you choose, such as adding colored accents or material to make the space your own.

While white kitchens aren’t going anywhere, expect to see a rise in color, especially other neutrals like gray and blue. Warm wood tones are becoming a popular replacement for painted cabinets. The two-toned look started catching on in 2017, in which cabinet colors were mixed and matched in the kitchen. For example, the bottom cabinets might be a darker color, such as gray, and the upper cabinets then all in white. Having a color that is bolder for the kitchen island contrasts the rest of the kitchen and makes a statement. This is why white has many benefits because then you can play with color in unique ways. White is such a basic color, that you can go along way with design and it also makes the space feel light, airy and clean. White can also make your small space look bigger than what it really is.

In kitchen remodeling, cabinets receive the highest allocation. They take up a lot of real-estate and are costly to manufacture and install. White cabinets avoid the decision of having to select a wood finish that dates a home quicker than is needed. You can also rest easy knowing that your kitchen can easily be updated with accessories and appliances while keeping the cabinets longer.



Whether your kitchen has an upscale or shabby chic vibe, white cabinets are workable. This adaptability can be appealing to potential home buyers. While they may not see eye to eye with you on your kitchen decor, they know they won’t have to completely gut the kitchen when they move in. White plays well with nearly every other shade, making it convenient to coordinate countertops, appliances and lights fixtures, and backsplashes.


Even though white is the name of the game, one mustn’t forget that the kitchen is part of the house and therefore in its design, it must project warmth and preserve an inviting appearance. In order to prevent a cold and sterile feeling, it is recommended to select a number of elements that will disrupt the monotony of the cold white and that will provide splashes of color and warmth to the space. Herbs of an intense green color, placed in a decorative vase on a white work surface would do the trick wonderfully. Adding paintings with splashes of color will give your kitchen an inviting look without cluttering the countertops. Even adding colored appliances might warm up the white monotony of the space.

Natural Light

High electricity prices and environmental awareness contribute greatly to energy-saving LED lamps. This trend is welcomed but full of potential home-lighting catastrophes in the form of white fluorescent bulbs. In order to prevent an office atmosphere in your kitchen, choose lighting with a warm color, not fluorescent. Warm natural light completes and emphasizes white surfaces without creating a cold feeling. If you are able to, try to plan your kitchen ahead of time so that during the day, those sitting in your kitchen can enjoy natural light entering through large windows which are essential for the ventilation of an active kitchen, among other things.


In order to generate interest and break the uniform appearance of the space, you can incorporate segments of wood (butcher) into your work surface. The segment can be a part of the work surface that is integrated creatively such as in a zigzag formation or a portable element such as a large cutting board that can turn into a hosting platform in an instant. You can always integrate into the general kitchen design cabinets made of wood and create a complex design combining materials.


A color’s character is often determined by the material on which it “lies”. When designing a white kitchen, it is important to remember that for different materials, different finishes influence the manner in which the white reacts to the material, and what amount of light will reflect from it. A glossy finish, with a reflective characteristic, gives depth to the white color that will also be affected, among other things, by the colors of the elements around the space that reflect off the white. On the contrary, a matte white finish, which absorbs the light, allows, relative to the glossy, for the white color to appear as a single unified piece.



How to add color to your white kitchen

  • Get furniture with color to add a pop to your white space
  • Add wood to your white space to help add contrast
  • Add a dark color to window treatments will add a pop to the white space and you can change them out when you want to update it.
  • Be Bold! Give your island a pop of color.
  • Put a splash of color in the backsplash to break up the white concept.
  • Add a dark flooring or dark countertops to a white kitchen
  • Get stone white countertops with excessive dark veining to add texture to your white space without taking away from the white concept.
  • Make your oven hood the centerpiece of your white kitchen by making it extraordinary. Think copper or a wood material.
  • Embrace black stainless steel appliances or even colored.
  • Paint the walls using color to make your white kitchen pop with warmth.




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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What To Do With A Galley Kitchen

What is a galley kitchen? A galley kitchen is a narrow usually small kitchen with one long aisle lined with countertops, cabinets, & appliances on either side. Below gives you a general idea of a galley kitchen layout.



Small kitchens aren’t necessarily a bad thing. If the space is designed correctly you will find a galley kitchen is functional. If your kitchen is an outdated galley kitchen then yes it was probably badly designed and creates a hectic workspace. Fear not remodeling your galley kitchen can help make the space more efficient and give you just as much storage as a large kitchen. It truly is an effective space and makes the most for a true chef as long as you have the right designer in place to give you what you are looking for. With the long aisle and parallel counters, this is designed exactly how the professional kitchens are in restaurants. The only thing you may not get in a galley kitchen that you do with a large kitchen is the open concept. When you entertain an open kitchen gives you a chance to mingle with your guests while still working in the kitchen, this is less likely to occur with a galley kitchen but isn’t impossible if it’s designed right.

Look at the positive side of a galley kitchen. If you love to cook this is an ideal way to control traffic flow in and out of the kitchen. It’s ideal for one person in the kitchen so it’s a great asset if there tends to be too many cooks in the kitchen. Tidying up a galley kitchen is usually easier because the design is minimal. It keeps the cook organized and utilizes the space around them. It also follows the design technique of the “kitchen triangle” which is an invisible line that is drawn between the sink, stove, and refrigerator creating optimal efficiency.

Getting ready for your galley kitchen remodel. The vertical cabinet is a great way to utilize space. Getting bins and baskets to store extra cooking tools and various accessories like cookbooks can be stored up higher while the necessities can be stored at arm’s length. Get rid of countertop appliances that you don’t use much and invest in multi-use appliances. Pot racks are another good addition to save on cabinet space and can add some style to the kitchen.

Choosing a style. Choosing the right style for a galley kitchen can be tricky, first of all, remember that galley kitchens can be dark and dungeon-like because of the space confinement. It is best to go light and bright when designing your galley kitchen. This will help make the kitchen feel open and spacious. Making sure to have a lot of natural light is important so, make a larger window or add skylights will help open up the kitchen. Choosing lighter paint colors will reflect the light in the space also. White is the trend for kitchens now so this will also add a timeless look if you are trying to sell. To add depth pick out colorful accents to make the space inviting. Under cabinet lighting is another nice feature especially for cooking.

Dining in a galley kitchen. It might be hard to dine in a galley kitchen but you can possibly create a breakfast bar or nook that will give you somewhat interaction with your guests. This is popular in large kitchens also but usually, it is an island in the middle of the kitchen.




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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Choosing A Kitchen Sink

When choosing a kitchen sink, it’s important to do your research so you can make a good decision on what’s best for your lifestyle and your family’s needs. Kitchen sinks come in so many varieties of styles, materials, and colors now that choosing one can be overwhelming. Whether you want the standard timeless look or be a little unique with your style below are some ideas of what’s on the market so you can make a better choice when the time comes.

Kitchen Sink Styles

Farmhouse Sink- One of the most trendy styles today. The front of the sink is exposed and typically is a rectangle shape. They are very deep and heavy which you want to make sure your cabinetry and countertop can support it. Farmhouse sinks can come in a variety of different materials and it is one of the more difficult sinks to install so a professional would be important when installing it.


Drop-In Sink- If you’re looking for an easier installation sink then these are number one. These sinks are mounted above the counter and are more affordable. This style comes in many varieties also.


Undermount Sink-This is the most popular sink because of the varieties of colors and materials. This type of sink is installed under the counter and creates a cleaner look. It is also a lot easier to keep up with everyday maintenance when cleaning it.


Bar Sink-This kind of sink is an addition to a regular sink and is usually used for entertaining. Good for prep work or a quick rinse. Usually, they come in round or square shaped.


Sink Basins- The way your kitchen functions is how you should consider what type of basin to get for your kitchen. They usually come in one, two, or three basin varieties. More basins don’t mean more room to wash. A single basin is the most versatile and can come in variations like a small compact drop-in sink or a farmhouse sink. These are perfect for large pots and pans. The most common is the double basin sink, which also comes in a variety of depths for your needs. Triple sinks are not as common for residential homes but are useful if you need multiple purposes. After choosing your style of sink now you have to make a choice of what your sink is made out of and the color choice.


Stainless Steel- For a more affordable choice and to keep a timeless kitchen look go with the popular stainless steel. This is a little more care when it comes to cleaning but now they come in a variety of finishes like brushed or mirrored to match your kitchen.

Cast Iron- These type of sinks are durable and affordable. They are heavier and require more care as they can chip over time. They are also easy to maintain and show fewer watermarks than other sinks.


Acrylic- Because the material is a lot lighter, Acrylic offers more affordability and ease of installing. It is unfortunately not very durable and scratches easily over time. It is best to sand it as a maintenance routine to keep the smooth look.

Fireclay- This is one of the most durable sinks out there. It is popular in the farmhouse style sinks to create the vintage look and is one of the most expensive sinks on the market but the maintaining of it is minimal.

Here are some different types, styles, and colors of sinks:



What “Fixer-Upper” Can’t Teach You About Home Remodeling


Fixer-Upper! The show that is the greatest difference between showbiz and what really happens when remodeling your home. Why do they make it look so easy? Why do they make it seem so cheap? The real question is why do we believe the fantasy behind it but not the reality of remodeling a fixer-upper? HGTV implies to the viewer that remodeling is easy and gives a sense of having relief to what is expected during remodeling. It also dampens our moods when we realize that it is nothing like the real world and more issues arise during the process than we even dreamed of. Problems also equal to more money needed in the budget. From permits to inspections, to even product back orders, there are always things causing delays and costing money in the remodeling process. The more prepared you are as a homeowner the smoother things tend to go because you expect it.





Remodeling Times Are Often Rushed

Whenever you watch a home renovation show usually they always have a ridiculous turnaround time on a project. If you’re not aware of this when you go to hire someone, you will have a preconceived thought that you are being taken advantage of. On HGTV when you see a large project get finished quickly, you don’t really see all the scrambling that goes on behind the scenes to do the job and get it done on time. It may look like you see 3-5 people working but in reality, there are 30 people working to get things done in a short amount of time and they work around the clock which your normal contractor would never do that. Sometimes even details of the project are left undone for filming and then later finished up.



Renovation Budgets Aren’t Realistic

A long list of must-haves and a very tight budget doesn’t usually go well together in reality. The budgets made for TV are specifically designed for TV. Networks often partner with advertisers and they usually give materials away because of the free publicity. The contractors may also discount their services because of the publicity, which can cause a lack of workmanship on the project. Homeowners should be prepared when they see an estimate from contractors because some things they don’t tell you on TV. For example, some evaluations need to be done through county laws like testing for lead paint or asbestos which is standard for older homes. Usually, jobs can go from 3-4 wks to 3-4 months depending on how big the job is.


Storylines Are Embellished For TV

The stories that just seem so good to be true are usually the case. Not true or embellished enough to make it more interesting. For example, during a fixer-upper episode, they ended up picking the house that was the owner’s grandparent’s house. Well, what they don’t tell you is she had already purchased the house from her parents. So the story doesn’t sound as intriguing as you viewed it on the air but it does intrigue you hearing the made-up version. So the old saying “don’t believe everything you hear,” definitely goes the same for don’t believe everything you see on Tv.


Flipping A Fixer-Upper Isn’t As Easy As It Seems

In today’s housing market every dollar counts and lately flipping houses have decreased about 2% compared to 2013. Determining on which investments will sell your home quicker is more important than investing too much into a property just to watch it sit on the market for months. Do your research of your neighborhood, keep an eye on what’s selling and stick to a budget that is affordable. Make sure the updates you do is beneficial for the new homeowner not what you want. Keep everything neutral and create staging to create a more pleasing atmosphere for the future homeowner. Remember it is about selling your home as quickly as possible for the price you want.


Buying A House Is Never As Easy As On TV

Many shows make home-buying seem so simple and painless. What may seem like a day on TV most home-buying experiences take a least a few weeks but mostly it can take months depending on circumstances like if you have to sell an existing home or if you want to live in a specific community, can take longer. One of the biggest hurdles is getting approved for a mortgage loan. There is a significant amount of paperwork involved. What you don’t see is someone struggling for 60 days to get approved for a loan, only to be turned down because the criteria changed. When they are on the show they have already gone through this portion of home-buying maybe even already bought the home in some cases. So beware on the look of HGTV because they are just there to entertain you not give you valuable information concerning what your home-buying experience will be like.



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Counter-tops! Which one is right for you


Home is where the counter-top lies. The most popular spot for the family is the kitchen. A lot of time is spent in the kitchen socializing, working, and prepping. It’s where you gather friends and family for holiday get-togethers. If your kitchen is feeling dated, worn out or inefficient, it is time for a change. Remodeling a kitchen is one of the areas of the house that has the most decisions to make and the most beneficial when you go to resell. This room not only expresses you and your style but it has to have functionality and durability also.


Counter-tops are the most important piece aside from cabinets in your remodeling project. When choosing a type of counter-top you must think about your lifestyle over the next 10-15 years. A few things to think about is durability, maintenance, and style. There are so many varieties of counter-tops out there that we have made a list with some pros and cons to help you make a better decision.




GRANITE- Granite is one of the most popular choices for kitchen and bathroom counter-tops. Adding a granite counter-top can instantly increase the value of your home. If you choose to put a granite counter-top in, it will be cut according to your specific measurements.


So depending on the design of your kitchen, if you decide to upgrade another area with granite, later on, you will not be able to match your current stone exactly, because granite is a natural stone, and you will never have 2 identical pieces. Granite stone has its own unique pattern, similar to a fingerprint, which means every piece is different. However, if the granite is mined from the same location, there will be enough similarities to allow for some consistency throughout your project.


Granite is a good option in the kitchen as it is great when it comes to withstanding high heat and scratches. This means you don’t have to worry about placing hot pans directly on it and damaging the surface. It is also safe to cut directly on the surface and you do not have to worry about scratching it, so no cutting board is necessary! It is also resistant to UV rays from the sun, unlike quartz, so it’s ok to use in outdoor kitchens and bar tops. Since granite is a natural stone, it is susceptible to damage, but with the proper care, it can resist stains, scratches, and bacteria.


In order to properly maintain the granite, it is suggested to seal it once a year. If this step is taken, then the counter-tops can be easily cared for by just cleaning with mild soap and water. You can also purchase special cleaners that have a protective coating in them.




MARBLE- Like granite, each cut of marble is completely unique. It too is cut in one piece from the mine with its own one-of-a-kind fingerprint. It is a stone that will never go out of style and adds a classic look to your kitchen. Also, just like granite, if you decide to add on later, if you do not get a cut from the same mine, you might have a hard time matching the coloring and fingerprint of the stone.


If you are on a budget then a basic marble might be the way to go as it is usually the least expensive option of the three. With that being said, it is also the more porous of the three options which means it is more prone to scratches and stains. One thing to keep in mind is the stain factor. Because of the porous nature of this stone, things like juice, wine, and coffee can dull the finish of the stone and ruin your counter-tops.


You will also need to be sure to always use a cutting board as sharp objects can scratch the counter surface. There are products made for cleaning stains on marble, however, the best option is to have it sealed to prevent any stains in the first place. Like granite, it is suggested to seal your marble once a year.





QUARTZ- Like granite and marble, quartz is also a natural stone, however, quartz countertops are man-made and not cut directly from mines like granite and marble. This means it goes through a manufacturing process before it is put in a home, which can have advantages as well as disadvantages.


Something to take note of is the fact that quartz counter-tops use a binding agent during the manufacturing process. This may or may not be a factor when making your decision. Because of the use of the binding agent these countertops may have high Volatile Organic Compound (VOC’s) as compared to granite or marble. If you are concerned about your homes air quality, this is something to take into consideration. While for others it would not be a determining factor. Quartz is also susceptible to UV rays. If your windows do not block out the sun’s harmful UV rays, this could affect the coloring of your counter-tops over time.


An upside to quartz is the color selection is much greater than that of granite or marble. Another positive is because it is manufactured, it is easier to get matching pieces and have more consistency if that is something that is important to you, or if you plan on doing more upgrades later on. Another positive is the durability, quartz requires much less maintenance compared to granite and marble as it is more resistant to acids from drinks and stains. It also does not require the annual sealing like the others do and do not harbor bacteria.








Concrete- This is one of the newest types of counter-tops offered. New innovative ways formulated concrete now to make it light and come in a variety of colors and textures. It is usually a custom material and is often framed and poured right into the space being renovated. It is very durable and hard and doesn’t chip easily. You can even go as far as customizing by embedding shells, tiles, pieces of colored glass or stones. They tend to be expensive and run in the price range with granite and quartz. Concrete counters need to be sealed regularly and can be stained by some liquids like coffee and juice. This is also a specific look giving you a contemporary and somewhat industrial feel to the space.











Recycled Glass- This is another unique counter. It can look very modern and contemporary. They can also be made to look antique or traditional. These counter-tops tend to not be good with children because they are fairly expensive. Also, can show water spots or fingertips easily. In some cases can crack on installation, so using a professional is highly recommended.















Eco-friendly- These counter-tops are growing in popularity because they do as much for your space as they do for the environment. The most common eco-friendly counters are Bamboo, reclaimed wood, recycled HDPE, palm-wood, recycled glass and recycled paper counter-tops. They are all reasonably priced, durable and you are putting your part and giving back to the environment.












Lava- This is a unique counter-top and also highly functional. These counters are made from lava stone quarried from the site of ancient volcano eruptions. Specifically, from Auvergne, France but they are starting to be developed as the demand becomes higher. It is custom cut for each order and then glazed with enamel with heat in excess of 1,300 degrees. The glaze gives it a smooth, non-porous finish that is water-resistant. After it cools small cracks in the glazing appear and give it a unique appearance. They are very expensive exceeding any other counter-top but will last you 50 years plus no maintenance.








Resin- They are a solid surface that has a seamless finish and is offered in many colors and styles. Crafted from cured epoxy, acrylic or polyester resin which is a synthetic material used in a wide variety of applications. It is cut to order and can be customized and excel in attractive appearance and durability, even red wine! Also, resin counter-tops are non-porous and you can use common household cleaners on them. Another thing to note is they are quite affordable. Be sure to ask the contractor what type of resin is used in the brand. Make sure you know the durability, brittleness, and heat resistance information along with the cost. Corian is the most durable and highly-rated material which is made from acrylic polyester.













Stainless Steel- With so many large kitchen appliances now featuring stainless steel finishes, you can select counters that blend seamlessly with your appliances. It looks gorgeous with anything and compliments materials such as wood cabinets and natural stone flooring. It’s very durable and non-porous. The only downside is it’s not affordable and it can make the space feel cold and uninviting.













Laminate- Even though laminate counters are becoming outdated they still are a popular choice due to affordability. They offer excellent versatility and value. Nowadays you can find colors and patterns that match surfaces like marble or granite to make it look more lavish.













It is important to understand all aspects of each type of stone before making your final selection. It’s hard to say that one is any better than another. It really comes down to personal choice and how it will be utilized. Pricing also varies by class of the stone, each stone type is categorized by a class rating from 1-5. Class 1 would be your more basic color and design. Class 5 would be a higher quality, more detailed “fingerprint”. Retro Pro’s experienced design staff can answer any questions you have and will help guide you through your selection process. Whether your primary concern is durability, cost, or uniformity, there is an option for you!



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25 ways to clean your home with vinegar!



Oh How I Love Vinegar, Let Me Count the Ways!


Vinegar is an incredible liquid and can do amazing things around the house! It can be used for everything from a fabric softener, to toilet cleaner to cleaning cutting boards. And at a fraction of the cost of chemical store-bought cleaners, it can save a lot of money over time! Cleaning with vinegar can work wonders on your home! Here are some ways to use vinegar around the house for all your cleaning needs.




Refrigerator: Instead of using chemical based cleaners to clean your fridge, try surface cleaning with white vinegar. Clean spills on the shelf with a 50-50 vinegar and water mix. You can even keep a bottle of the mixture stored in your fridge!


Drain: Dip and old toothbrush or brush small enough to get inside the disposal into some vinegar, sprinkle some baking soda on it, then use mixture to scrub away odors and built up food in your garbage disposal.


Cutting boards: For cutting boards, just spray surface with white vinegar and rinse clean, that’s it!


Microwave: Cleaning a microwave can be a nightmare! But instead of scrubbing for hours to try and get it clean, you can easily remove grime buildup and stains by placing 1/2-cup vinegar and 1/2-cup water in a glass bowl. Microwave for about 2-3 minutes, or until it boils. Then just wipe buildup away with ease!


Stained plastic containers: Does your trusty plastic storage containers have stains from spaghetti sauce or other food items? Use vinegar to coat the inside of the container, let sit to absorb into the stain then wash as usual.


Countertops: Cleaning countertops with white vinegar is easy. Just spray onto your surface, then wipe away with a warm, wet rag. Vinegar works great on many surfaces, however it does not do well on granite or marble surfaces.




Toilet: Have ring-around-the-toilet (if you have kids this is inevitable, we all know they can never seem to remember to flush the toilet)! Just pour a cup of vinegar in the bowl, and let sit overnight. Then sprinkle with baking soda or borax and use a scrub brush to clean away stains. For tougher stains it would be best to drain the water from the toilet bowl when soaking overnight (and keep your fingers crossed no-one wakes up in the middle of the night and uses it before morning)!


General bathroom cleaning: Use straight or a diluted vinegar cleaning solution to scrub away bacteria, especially around the toilet, which will help curb urine staining and odor (gross I know, but it happens)!.


Tub or sink drain: Tub and sink drains are notorious for buildup from the daily use. To remove them just close the drain plug and pour 1/2-cup distilled white vinegar around the drain and let sit for several hours. Then scrub to remove buildup.


Shower: Is it time to deep clean your shower? Bring vinegar to a boil, get some rubber gloves, then use it to wipe down the shower door and walls. Keep them damp by wiping them down every 5 to 8 minutes for 30 minutes (yes this is a daunting task, but we are talking about a deep clean here people, so not something you have to do all the time). Once the 30 minutes is up, dampen a non-scratch sponge with vinegar, sprinkle it with baking soda, and scrub away (and you thought your job was done after the first 30 minutes didn’t you). Rinse the walls and door with water and Bye-bye germs, mold, water spots, and soap scum!


Shower head: If you live in an area with hard water, this will happen more often than not! To remove mineral build up pour some white vinegar into a plastic bag, and secure it to your shower head with a twist-tie, rubber-band or masking tape. Make sure there is a sufficient amount of vinegar so that the bottom part of the shower head is totally submerged. Leave the bag on overnight. Remove the next morning just before showering (if you don’t remember to remove the bag before turning on the water your shower will get a morning cleaning once the bag explodes).


Tile surfaces: Mix 1/2-cup white distilled vinegar with a gallon of warm water. Mop floors or scrub countertops with the solution and allow to air dry.




Mattress disinfectant: Mix distilled white vinegar, a little rubbing alcohol, and some tea tree oil in a spray bottle. Lightly spritz on your mattress to help combat dust mites, mildew, and general odors. For a deeper clean, follow with a dusting of baking soda. Let dry, then vacuum.




As a fabric softener: Sounds weird, I know! You can use vinegar instead of fabric softeners in laundry. It softens the clothes and removes static just like the dryer sheets. Not to mention it is a fraction of the price. Just have to add the vinegar during the final wash or rinse cycle and bam, soft and static free clothes!


Dining Room-


Glass: Use a 50-50 vinegar-water solution to keep glass tables, doors windows, and any other glass surface sparkling clean.


Wood furniture: Use 1/4-cup white vinegar mixed with 1-cup olive oil (and a few drops of lemon or orange oil, for a fresh scent) to clean and condition wood furniture.




Carpet odor and dust mite remover: Mix a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a fresh scent, with distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spritz lightly throughout. (It would be best to test in a small spot first for colorfastness.)


Carpet rinse: Everyone loves getting their carpets cleaned, but what you may not know is there is usually a left over residue from the shampoo/cleaner used to clean the carpets. This leftover residue can attract dirt which in turn will make your carpets get dirty faster. So after shampooing, give your carpet a good rinse by using 1/2-cup vinegar per gallon of water. This lifts dirt-attracting soap residue, so carpets will stay cleaner, longer.


Carpet pet odor remover: Wet spot with vinegar. Sprinkle with baking soda, and work the two together with a brush or your fingers (I prefer a brush, but if you want to use your fingers, go for it). Let dry, preferably overnight if you can keep pets and children away from the area, then vacuum up.


Wood floor wash: Add 1/2-cup vinegar to a gallon of water to clean wood and laminated floors. Take precaution to not over-saturate the floors and damage the wood or laminate.


General Purpose-


Air freshener: Add a 1/2-teaspoon vinegar to a 4-ounce spray bottle, then fill with distilled water, plus a few drops of your favorite essential oil to give the space a fresh and clean smell.


Window cleaner: Mix 1/4-cup rubbing alcohol and 1/3-cup vinegar in a 32-oz spray bottle, then fill with water. Lightly spritz on a lint free cloth to clean.


All-purpose cleaner: Mix 1-cup vinegar, 2 teaspoons borax, 4-cups hot water, 5 drops liquid dish soap, 10 drops tea tree oil, and 10 drops your favorite essential oil (optional).


Disinfectant: Use a 50-50 vinegar-water mix to wipe down telephones, doorknobs, faucet handles, and more when cold and flu season hits.

Homemade Disposable Cleaning Wipes Recipes:

1 roll of paper towels (needs to be a good quality brand like Bounty or Viva). A large container that will fit a full roll of paper towels (so you don’t have to cut them down). A 1 gallon pitcher from the dollar store works great!


Solution mix – 1 3/4 cups distilled water, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon liquid dish soap (like Dawn) and 10 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil.


Check out this link for the full How-To instructions and more info!

Homemade Disposable Cleaning Wipes


Kitchen Cooking and Cleaning Tips

Perfect Pasta

You have just made up your pasta according to the directions, but it is still going to be a few minutes before you serve up dinner. What can you do to help keep it warm?

Place your pot about ¼ to 1/3 full of hot water back on the stove over med to med/high heat. Now place your pasta in a metal or heavy duty plastic colander that can withstand heat. Place the colander over the top of your pan and let the steam keep your noodles warm with out over cooking them.


How to Remove Stains from Wooden Cutting Boards

Can rings and wine and strawberries stains don’t help the style of your cutting board. To get out stains, try sprinkling the board with salt rubbing it with lemon. For more stubborn stains, try an abrasive antibacterial kitchen cleaner and scouring pad. For the toughest, reach for sandpaper! And of course wash thoroughly afterward!



How to Soften Hardened Brown Sugar

Brown sugar hardens as its moisture evaporates over time in the cupboard. But you can easily re-moisturize it by placing the open sugar bag in a microwave with a cup of water next to it and zapping it on high for three minutes. Or you can place the sugar in a bowl, cover the sugar with a double layer of wet paper towels, and then cover the bowl with foil or plastic wrap and let it stand overnight.  The jury is still out on what to put in the bag of brown sugar to keep it from going hard: a slice of apple, a piece of bread, and a shard of a terra cotta pot have all been used.



How to Refresh Crystallized Honey

You know that jar or bottle of honey that’s hardened and crystallized on your shelf? It can easily be brought back to its easy-to-pour glory if you let it sit for 15 minutes in boiling water that has cooled for five minutes.

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Plastic Bag Holder

An empty rectangular tissue box makes a convenient holder for small garbage bags, plastic grocery bags and small rags. Simply thumbtack it to the inside of a cabinet door.



For cleaning smelly hands after chopping onions or garlic, just rub them on a stainless steel spoon. The steel is supposed to absorb the odor.


If you happen to over-salt a pot of soup, just drop in a peeled potato. The potato will absorb the excess salt.


When boiling eggs, add a pinch of salt to keep the shells from cracking.

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When storing empty airtight containers, throw in a pinch of salt to keep them from getting stinky.


If you are making gravy and accidentally burn it, just pour it into a clean pan and continue cooking it. Add sugar a little at a time, tasting as you go to avoid over-sugaring it. The sugar will cancel out the burned taste.


Burned a pot of rice? Just place a piece of white bread on top of the rice for 5-10 minutes to draw out the burned flavor. Be careful not to scrape the burned pieces off of the bottom of the pan when serving the rice.

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If you aren’t sure how fresh your eggs are, place them in about four inches of water. Eggs that stay on the bottom are fresh. If only one end tips up, the egg is less fresh and should be used soon. If it floats, it’s past the fresh stage.


Before you chop chili peppers, rub a little vegetable oil into your hands and your skin won’t absorb the spicy chili oil.


To banish ants from the kitchen, find out where they are coming in and cover the hole with petroleum jelly. Ants won’t trek through the jelly. If they are coming under a door, draw a line on the floor with chalk. The little bugs also won’t cross a line of chalk.

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Before making popcorn on the stove or in an air popper, soak the kernels in water for 10 minutes. Drain the water, then pop as normal. The additional moisture helps the popcorn pop up quicker and fluffier with fewer “old maids.”


Don’t store your bananas in a bunch or in a fruit bowl with other fruits. Separate your bananas and place each in a different location. Bananas release gases which cause fruits (including other bananas) to ripen quickly. Separating them will keep them fresh longer.


To keep potatoes from budding in the bag, put an apple in with them.

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After boiling pasta or potatoes, cool the water and use it to water your house plants. The water contains nutrients that your plants will love.  When you clean your fish tank, the water you drain can also be used to water your house plants. The nitrogen and phosphorus in fish droppings make aquarium water a great fertilizer.


When defrosting meat from the freezer, pour some vinegar over it. Not only does it tenderize the meat; it will also bring down the freezing temperature of the meat and cause it to thaw quicker.


For aluminum pans that are looking dull, just boil some apple peels in them. This will brighten up the aluminum and make your house smell yummy.


To keep cookies fresh, put some crumpled-up tissue paper in the bottom of the cookie jar.

Keep iceberg lettuce fresh in the fridge by wrapping it in a clean, dry paper towel and storing lettuce and paper towel in a sealed baggie in the fridge.


If your loaf of bread is starting to go stale, just put a piece of fresh celery in the bag and close it back up. For some reason, this restores a fresh taste and texture to the bread.


To reuse cooking oil without tasting whatever was cooked in the oil previously, cook a 1/4? piece of ginger in the oil. It will remove any remaining flavors and odors.


If your milk always goes bad before you can finish it, try adding a pinch of salt to the carton when you first open it. It will stay fresh days longer.

How to select Range Hood for Stove


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There are few things better than the mouth-watering aroma of a gourmet meal. Whether it’s the sweet scent of garlic or the savory smell of old-fashioned spaghetti sauce, there’s little question that smells greatly enhance the flavor of home cooking. Once the meal is over, however, you don’t want those smells to linger in the kitchen. Range hoods not only vent away odors instantly to keep your kitchen fresh, they also filter out heat, smoke, grease and moisture. Regardless of how your kitchen is set up, you’ll be able to find a hood that will fit in well in terms of both performance and style. Choose from over-the-range, downdraft, microwave/range hood combos and other designs and keep the following questions in mind as you shop:


  • What type of range hood is best suited for your kitchen?
  • Where should the range hood be installed?
  • What type of ventilation system should you use?
  • How large should your range hood be?
  • Are there any special features you’d like to have?


Ventilation Systems, Style and Installation


The size of your range and the amount of time you spend cooking will help determine what type of range hood you should purchase. Ventilation systems may be either external or recirculating, and range hoods can be installed in several different places, including underneath a cabinet, hanging down from the ceiling or even in the countertop. Though their primary function is to get rid of bad smells, smoke and grease, range hoods can also add a stylish element to your kitchen, particularly if you choose a customized unit. There is a large selection of features to choose from, including halogen lights, variable-speed fans and filter indicator lights, each of which is designed to make using your range hood easier and more convenient. Regardless of which type you choose, it’s important to remember that proper care and maintenance is essential to effective performance.


Ventilation Systems: There are two primary types of ventilation, external and recirculating. You can also choose from a couple of different fan types, including rotary fans, which feature blades, or centrifugal fans, which are shaped like a barrel or wheel. In general, centrifugal fans are slightly more powerful and better suited for longer ducts. The amount of air that is vented by fans is measured in cubic feet per minute, or CFM. Units with higher CFM rates move more air, and the Home Ventilating Institute, a nonprofit organization that certifies products and provides consumer information in the field of residential ventilation, recommends a minimum of 40 CFM for every linear foot of range. So, if you have a 3? range, you’d need a range hood with at least 120 CFM. For gas cooktops, a good estimate is to have 1 CFM for every 100 BTUs of power the stove has. Consult the chart below to learn more about the different ventilation systems and some points of consideration for each.


SystemsDescription Points To Consider
Convertible –Able to utilize either external vents or filters.
  • If using filters, be sure to change regularly
  • Choose to vent externally if possible for greater effectiveness
External –Vents contaminated air outside of the house through a series of vertical or horizontal ducts.
  • Air must be vented outside of house, not into a crawl space or attic
  • Generally more efficient
  • Can be more complicated to install
Recirculating- Uses a filter system to clean air before circulating it back into house.
  • Filters must be cleaned or changed regularly to ensure high-quality performance
  • Easier to install


Size, Style and Placement: The type of range hood you choose will be dictated in part by your kitchen setup and in part by your own sense of style. If your range is installed against a wall and there are cabinets above, you may want to consider an under-cabinet range hood or a slide-out unit, which can be unobtrusively tucked away when not in use. Telescoping downdraft hoods are installed in your countertop and remain hidden from view until they’re needed, at which time they can be activated with the touch of a button, making them ideal for people who don’t want a visible venting system. If you have a cooktop on an island, an island range hood provides a sleek, stylish ventilation method that comes down from the ceiling. Chimney hoods are mounted on a wall and used in conjunction with soffit vents. They often provide lights to help illuminate the cooking area. Depending on the size, style and features you choose, range hoods can cost anywhere from under $100 to several thousand dollars.

  • Common colors include almond, bisque, biscuit, stainless steel, silver, black and white
  • Make sure to match the finish and style of the hood to your range or cooktop
  • Hoods are typically 30”, 36” or 42” wide
  • Choose a hood that’s at least as wide as your range for maximum effectiveness
  • One-touch activation of downdraft models allows you to start them quickly and easily


Maintenance and Installation Tips: In many cases, you should be able to install a range hood on your own. If, however, you’re unsure of your ability to do so, don’t hesitate to contact a professional. For houses that already have ductwork in place, make sure you select a range hood that has a compatible design. If you’re building a new house or installing new ductwork, make sure to determine whether vertical or horizontal positioning will be more efficient. Always make sure that air is vented outside the house and not into an enclosed space, such as an attic, as heat, moisture and grease can accumulate there and cause damage. Models that can accommodate either round or rectangular ductwork provide greater installation versatility.



  • Generally speaking, gas ranges require a hood with a higher CFM rate than electric units
  • Wash or replace filters regularly as needed to maintain efficient and effective operation
  • Deep-frying, using a wok and frequent cooking may all necessitate cleaning or replacing filters more frequently
  • Convertible units generally allow for both vertical and horizontal ventilation
  • Wipe down range hood surfaces regularly using warm water and mild soap to avoid grease buildup




Halogen Lights and Nightlight: Lights on a range hood make it easier to see what you’re cooking. Nightlights provide soft illumination that will prevent you from tripping when you sneak into the kitchen for a midnight snack.


Electronic Touch Controls: For easier use, look for models that feature convenient electronic touch controls for precise operation and the ability to preset on and off times.


Variable-Speed Fan with Heat Sensors: Variable-speed fans can speed up to handle more heat, and heat sensors automatically increase speed or sound an alarm when things get too hot.


Quiet Operation: The noise generated by range hoods is measured in sones and, in general, the higher the fan’s CFM rating, the more sones it produces. Some hoods, however, feature insulation for quiet operation, minimizing the noise to provide less of a distraction while you cook.


Automatic Shutoff: Some units shut the fan off automatically after a specified period of time or let you designate a shutoff time, so you can keep the fan going after you leave the kitchen to completely clear the air.


Self-Cleaning/Filterless Operation: For easy maintenance, look for a self-cleaning range hood with filterless operation. These units can be programmed to clean themselves, ensuring your kitchen stays fresh with minimal effort.


Filter Monitor and Indicator Light: You have far too many things going on in life as is, and having to keep track of when to change the filter in your range hood adds one more item to the list. Fortunately, some hoods feature an indicator light that lets you know when it’s time to replace the filter, making it one less thing you have to worry about.

Countertop Buying Guide



Installing new kitchen countertops is one of the most dramatic ways to express your sense of style in your home. Whether made from a natural stone such as granite or quartz or another such as laminate or solid surface, countertops can enhance your lifestyle and add equity to your home. This buying guide explains the features and maintenance requirements for each type of surface so you can feel confident you’re selecting the countertop that will work with your lifestyle for years to come.


Start With How You Use Your Kitchen


To find the countertop that works best for your home and lifestyle, start by taking a look at how you use your kitchen. If yours is like many households, you want a countertop that complements your overall kitchen décor while standing up to everyday use for your family without too much maintenance. On the other hand, if you entertain guests often, you may prefer a countertop with all of these features plus a more elegant look and finish. By offering a wide range of countertop materials, styles, finishes and colors, the Home Depot makes it easy for you to match your countertop to your lifestyle.


Factors to Consider


There’s a countertop to match almost any budget, with laminate countertops at the lower end of the spectrum and wood or metal countertops among the more higher-priced materials. If cost-effectiveness is an important factor for your project, consider sturdy and easy-to-care for laminate or even solid surface countertops. If visual appeal and style is more important, explore the look and features of natural stone countertops like those from Stonemark® Granite or Silestone® Quartz.


Some countertop materials and styles require little maintenance. When it’s time to clean up, just use a soft cloth and mild soap or detergent and they’re ready for use again. On the other hand, those made from specialty materials like marble and other natural stone surfaces, may require more maintenance



How you use your kitchen plays an important role in the type of countertops you choose and how they are integrated into your kitchen as a whole. For some, the kitchen is more of a “work” area than a “show” area. If you plan to use your kitchen more as an area for entertaining, there are options in each of our unique surfaces that show off your unique style.








Composed of natural stone that’s endured for millions of years, granite countertops are a favorite choice for many homeowners who use their kitchens as a way to express their unique style and taste. Granite countertops are extremely hard and durable and highly stain, scratch and heat resistant. Granite slab viewing and selection available in most areas.

Unlike generic granite which requires annual sealing, Stonemark Granite, available exclusively at The Home Depot, features a revolutionary anti-stain technology that requires no sealing for at least 15 years. While granite countertops will hold up to virtually all ordinary kitchen use, they aren’t indestructible and will chip or break if they’re mistreated.





Quartz is the natural choice that provides a unique feel and offers a non-porous and scratch resistant surface that’s ideal for use in the kitchen. Made from engineered stone, quartz countertops require no sealing or polishing. Silestone® Quartz countertops offer a choice of more than 50 dazzling, gem-like colors in two distinct finishes for your kitchen. Silestone features built-in anti-microbial protection, which makes the surface impervious to bacteria, mold and mildew.

Like granite, quartz is extremely durable but it will break and can be damaged with prolonged exposure to high heat from hot pans or plates. Avoid cleaning quartz with strong                                           chemical cleaners or solvents.






Solid Surface 
Solid surface counter tops are made from sturdy acrylic materials that are easy to care for and highly resistant to bacteria, mold and mildew. They are durable, non-porous and offer a seamless appearance, making them a popular choice for active households. These counter tops are available in more than 130 colors as well as a wide range of patterns designed to mimic the look of stone, granite and quartz.

Solid surface counter-tops are less resistant to scratches and heat than their stone counterparts but they can be easily renewed and are usually a more affordable counter-top choice.






One of the most cost-effective countertop options, laminate has long been a popular surface for kitchen countertops. Composed of a sturdy particleboard core with layers of tough bonded plastic, laminate offers durability as well as a broad variety of colors, patterns and textures that mirror the look of more expensive surfaces.

Laminate countertops are vulnerable to scratches, cuts and heat, so using a cutting board or trivet is recommended. Care must also be taken to clean wine or other stain-causing liquids quickly, as they can discolor the surface.






A wood island-top adds warmth to your kitchen and complements your other countertop surfaces. Available exclusively at The Home Depot, Heirloom custom wood countertops are available in a variety of premium and domestic woods, from luxurious Black Walnut to exotic Zebrawood. Unique shading and grain patterns in the wood add to the natural beauty.

Finished with organic, penetrating waterproof oil that repels moisture and resists stains, Heirloom wood countertops are also extremely durable, easy to maintain and the non-porous surface can be kept sanitary and safe for food. They are put through a rigorous quality inspection process and are backed with a limited lifetime warranty on seams. Please call your local Home Depot to confirm availability.





Stainless Steel & Copper
 For a clean, sophisticated look, consider adding stainless steel or copper countertops. As functional as they are elegant, these durable surfaces provide a striking hygienic space for food preparation and can be custom-built to any size or shape. Complement your metal countertop with a variety of enhancements, from backsplashes and integrated sinks to cutting board inserts or beveled edges. Designer finish options include leather embossed stainless steel or hand-woven seared patina copper. Please call your local Home Depot to confirm availability.

Other Considerations





Corners, Edges & Inlays
Personalize the look of your countertops with your choice of edging styles. Add straight or beveled edges for a contemporary look, or bring a traditional elegance to your kitchen with the timeless curves of an S-shaped Ogee design. Rounded profiles like the Bullnose work with almost any design and are less likely to chip. For a more personalized design, add a custom or patterned inlay.





Sinks & Faucets
If you’re installing new countertops, you’ll need to replace both your sink and faucet. Sinks mount to countertops in various ways, including drop-in, undermount and apron styles. Solid surface countertops can be created with an integrated sink seamlessly molded into the material. The countertop material and style you select determines the complexity of the installation. Browse our wide range of sinks online or at your local The Home Depot, or get a select Stainless Steel sink installed with your countertop though our Revere program.






Custom Shapes 
Make a statement about your personal style in your kitchen with a distinctive, unique shape for your countertop incorporating unique angles or curves. To create these custom cut shapes, such as a 45 degree angle over a corner cabinet, additional countertop material may be required in order to generate the desired shape.[/full_width]