Posted in Consumer Protection, Consumer Reports, Consumer Research, Cook Tops and Ranges, Noteworthy Links, Preventing Kitchen Fires, Safety Features, Ventilation

#1 Cause of Fire in the Home

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Posted in Hot Topics, Ventilation

What’s in a hood? A stimulus package valued at $4,400.00



If you were in the market to redo your kitchen but afraid you would have to curb your budget due to the economic uncertainty, well here is your chance to get the beautiful custom hood you wanted at an amazing savings, plus free design services to put the look all together. Act now or you may miss your chance to win a $3200 gift certificate from Metallo Arts and 10 hours of design time from Paul Anater.

$3200 gift certificate from Metallo Arts Contact: Paul Anater

plus 10 hours of design time from Paul 727-204-8928

Anater equals a real stimulus package. p.anater@gmail.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

URLs: http://paulanater.blogspot.com , http://www.metalloarts.com

Kitchen and Residential Design, St. Petersburg, FL-based kitchen designer Paul Anater’s daily design blog; and Metallo Arts, the York, PA-based manufacturer of exquisite custom range hoods and metal counters, have teamed up to do a little market stimulating of their own.

Beginning on Friday, March 13th 2009 kitchen design fans are encouraged to direct their browsers to the landing page of Paul Anater’s daily design blog, Kitchen and Residential Design. Once there, they can enter for a chance to win a $3200 gift certificate from Metallo Arts and 10 hours of design time from Paul Anater.

Entrants must submit via e-mail their names, contact information and a short essay in which they’ll describe their fantasy kitchen. “I want people to imagine what’s possible and $3200 from Metallo Arts and $1200 worth of my time is a great place to start,” says Paul. The winning entry will be selected on April 3rd at 5pm EST and the winner will be contacted immediately.

Metallo Arts is the collaboration of entrepreneur Sheldon Gruber and fine artist Christopher Plummer. Successful businessmen in their own rights, they combine years of business experience with an artistic approach to range hood design to offer a product unlike any other. Metallo Arts is unique in the field that they are truly a company of artists, bringing diverse artistic backgrounds to bear on every project they take on.

Metallo Arts’ driving philosophy has been to take a functional necessity—range hoods—and create works of art that complement homeowners’ kitchens like never before. Clients who are provided a voice in the design process receive a finished piece that represents their individuality and style. As a highly specialized company, Metallo Arts approaches each project as a work of art using only the best materials and never compromising quality or service.

Paul Anater’s daily design blog, Kitchen and Residential Design, is seen by more than 2,000 people each week. Every day, Paul addresses an aspect of design

with an emphasis on kitchens. Readers turn to his blog for advice on everything from appliances to counter materials, from cabinetry to lighting, from wall colors to flooring. Through his blog, he seeks to dispel the myths and misinformation that surround the design process and to share a few laughs about life along the way.

As you prepare your spring home stories, please consider an interview with either Christopher Plummer, the artistic driving force behind Metallo Arts; or Paul Anater, the kitchen designer whose blog has people talking.

Best regards,

Paul Anater

Kitchen and Residential Design

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Posted in New Products, Outdoor Grills, Stainless Steel, Ventilation, Who Knew

Are you game for a new grill?

Get ready to expose your dirty grill.
This just in:

DIRTY GRILLS GONE WILD’ CONTEST TO GIVE ONE SLOPPY
BARBEQUER A NEW LEASE ON GRILLING
We’ll find America’s dirtiest griller and give them an Epicure 36” Outdoor Grill by Dacor

PHILADELPHIA – November 24, 2008 – Grill, baby, grill. And if your efforts result in a greasy, mucky mess, the “Dirty Grills Gone Wild” contest may offer you a sizzling new start.

The contest is seeking the grossest grill in America. Its owner will receive a new Dacor® Epicure® 36” Outdoor Grill and Grill Cart and a year’s supply of Scott Shop Towels. To enter, contestants must submit a digital photo of their dirty grill by February 2, 2009 at www.dirtydirtygrills.com.

“Dacor changed the way people cook outside forever, with the introduction of the industry’s first built-in halogen lighting on an outdoor grill in 2001,” said Steve Joseph, Vice President of Marketing at Dacor. “Today, we’re focused on new standards of excellence, with a full line of appliances that feature brilliant style and performance details to heighten the cooking experience. With the same level of craftsmanship as our indoor cooking appliances, the Epicure Outdoor Grill is designed to provide superior cooking results, no matter if you are just grilling a few hot dogs or searing the finest cuts of steak.”

“As the makers of some of the most heavy-duty shop towels around, we’re all about cleaning things up,” said Lauren Collier, an Associate Marketing Manager for the Kimberly-Clark Professional DIY Business. “We’re looking to give one grubby griller a second chance, by awarding both a new grill and the cleanup tools to keep it that way.”

The contest is being promoted at barbeque competitions and football tailgate parties across the country, and will end the week after the Super Bowl. Organizers will also be shooting footage of grimy grills for a “Dirty Grills Gone Wild” video that will be posted on the contest web site as well as on other Internet sites.

Entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges, which includes Joey Mac’s Smoke Stax, the award-winning grilling team of Joe (Joey Mac) McManus and Wayne Styck.

“The Dirtiest Grill in America” will be anointed in February 2009.

THE DETAILS OF OUTDOOR COOKING
The Epicure Outdoor Grills, available in 52” and 36” widths, feature brighter halogen lighting to illuminate the cooking surface so the barbecue can continue long after the sun goes down. A patent-pending, optional ceramic sear burner, placed inside the firebox, offers high intensity cooking for perfect searing.

Brilliant Illumina(TM) Burner Control Knobs glow blue when the grill is on, for increased safety and aesthetic appeal to indicate when a burner is in the “on” position and the redesigned premium canopy hood is lighter and more user-friendly.

Three U-shaped stainless steel burners operate at 20,000 BTU on grill models without the optional ceramic sear burner. Grills that include the ceramic sear burner will feature two high-output U-shaped stainless steel burners. An infrared ceramic rotisserie burner with a heavy-duty removable motor conveniently attaches to the grill when needed, providing limitless cooking options for the outdoor chef. For additional safety, Dacor’s Perma-Flame(TM) technology will automatically reignite the burner flame in the event that it is extinguished unexpectedly.

About Dacor: Founded in 1965, Dacor is the innovator of the most stylish, luxury kitchen appliances that provide the optimum ownership experience for people who are passionate about the details of cooking. The company has introduced many industry firsts including an infrared ceramic gas broiler inside an electric Pure Convectionä self-cleaning oven, an outdoor grill with built-in halogen lights, and the world’s only 30” dishwasher. Based in California, family-owned Dacor offers a complete line of luxury kitchen appliances that includes ranges, wall ovens, cooktops, refrigerators, dishwashers, warming drawers, microwaves, ventilation hoods, wine storage and outdoor appliances.

For more information on Dacor, its product line and local dealer locations, visit www.dacor.com, contact Customer Care at (800) 793-0093 or visit the Dacor Design & Culinary Centers in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago or San Francisco.

About Kimberly-Clark Professional: Kimberly-Clark Professional, located in Roswell, Ga., is one of four global business segments of Kimberly-Clark Corporation. The Kimberly-Clark Professional DIY business provides professional solutions for home improvement and car care projects to make fixing up and cleaning up fast, easy and efficient. For more information, visit www.kcdiy.com.

Posted in New Products, Outdoor Grills, Stainless Steel, Ventilation, Who Knew

Are you game for a new grill?

Get ready to expose your dirty grill.
This just in:

DIRTY GRILLS GONE WILD’ CONTEST TO GIVE ONE SLOPPY
BARBEQUER A NEW LEASE ON GRILLING
We’ll find America’s dirtiest griller and give them an Epicure 36” Outdoor Grill by Dacor

PHILADELPHIA – November 24, 2008 – Grill, baby, grill. And if your efforts result in a greasy, mucky mess, the “Dirty Grills Gone Wild” contest may offer you a sizzling new start.

The contest is seeking the grossest grill in America. Its owner will receive a new Dacor® Epicure® 36” Outdoor Grill and Grill Cart and a year’s supply of Scott Shop Towels. To enter, contestants must submit a digital photo of their dirty grill by February 2, 2009 at www.dirtydirtygrills.com.

“Dacor changed the way people cook outside forever, with the introduction of the industry’s first built-in halogen lighting on an outdoor grill in 2001,” said Steve Joseph, Vice President of Marketing at Dacor. “Today, we’re focused on new standards of excellence, with a full line of appliances that feature brilliant style and performance details to heighten the cooking experience. With the same level of craftsmanship as our indoor cooking appliances, the Epicure Outdoor Grill is designed to provide superior cooking results, no matter if you are just grilling a few hot dogs or searing the finest cuts of steak.”

“As the makers of some of the most heavy-duty shop towels around, we’re all about cleaning things up,” said Lauren Collier, an Associate Marketing Manager for the Kimberly-Clark Professional DIY Business. “We’re looking to give one grubby griller a second chance, by awarding both a new grill and the cleanup tools to keep it that way.”

The contest is being promoted at barbeque competitions and football tailgate parties across the country, and will end the week after the Super Bowl. Organizers will also be shooting footage of grimy grills for a “Dirty Grills Gone Wild” video that will be posted on the contest web site as well as on other Internet sites.

Entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges, which includes Joey Mac’s Smoke Stax, the award-winning grilling team of Joe (Joey Mac) McManus and Wayne Styck.

“The Dirtiest Grill in America” will be anointed in February 2009.

THE DETAILS OF OUTDOOR COOKING
The Epicure Outdoor Grills, available in 52” and 36” widths, feature brighter halogen lighting to illuminate the cooking surface so the barbecue can continue long after the sun goes down. A patent-pending, optional ceramic sear burner, placed inside the firebox, offers high intensity cooking for perfect searing.

Brilliant Illumina(TM) Burner Control Knobs glow blue when the grill is on, for increased safety and aesthetic appeal to indicate when a burner is in the “on” position and the redesigned premium canopy hood is lighter and more user-friendly.

Three U-shaped stainless steel burners operate at 20,000 BTU on grill models without the optional ceramic sear burner. Grills that include the ceramic sear burner will feature two high-output U-shaped stainless steel burners. An infrared ceramic rotisserie burner with a heavy-duty removable motor conveniently attaches to the grill when needed, providing limitless cooking options for the outdoor chef. For additional safety, Dacor’s Perma-Flame(TM) technology will automatically reignite the burner flame in the event that it is extinguished unexpectedly.

About Dacor: Founded in 1965, Dacor is the innovator of the most stylish, luxury kitchen appliances that provide the optimum ownership experience for people who are passionate about the details of cooking. The company has introduced many industry firsts including an infrared ceramic gas broiler inside an electric Pure Convectionä self-cleaning oven, an outdoor grill with built-in halogen lights, and the world’s only 30” dishwasher. Based in California, family-owned Dacor offers a complete line of luxury kitchen appliances that includes ranges, wall ovens, cooktops, refrigerators, dishwashers, warming drawers, microwaves, ventilation hoods, wine storage and outdoor appliances.

For more information on Dacor, its product line and local dealer locations, visit www.dacor.com, contact Customer Care at (800) 793-0093 or visit the Dacor Design & Culinary Centers in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago or San Francisco.

About Kimberly-Clark Professional: Kimberly-Clark Professional, located in Roswell, Ga., is one of four global business segments of Kimberly-Clark Corporation. The Kimberly-Clark Professional DIY business provides professional solutions for home improvement and car care projects to make fixing up and cleaning up fast, easy and efficient. For more information, visit www.kcdiy.com.

Posted in Kitchen Sociology, Kitchen Storage, Modern Kitchens, Planning, Small Kitchens, Style Notes, Ventilation

At a moment’s notice entertaining: dinner for twenty or thirty people…

I find some people absolutely fascinating for their ability to be so well organized. I revel at the idea of a well organized, well stocked kitchen and pantry. Oh, that’s right, I am a kitchen designer, it goes with the territory, call me crazy but I happen to love this stuff. The ability to pull off your holiday entertaining and make it look “effortless” is not by accident.

As the holiday’s approach, I do not want to be running around “last minute” and neither should you. Large or small kitchens, everyone can benefit from knowing how to organize their kitchen space. For some inspiration, who else to turn to but legendary entertaining expert Colin Cowie. I pulled my copy off the shelf, “Colin Cowie Chic: The Guide to Life As It Should Be”.

His video is just as inspiring. See the side bar at the left to play. In the video, “The Efficient Kitchen”, Colin explains with grace and confidence, “literally at a moments notice I can have dinner for twenty or thirty people. That’s the way I like it.”

Talk to me baby, talk to me. How cool is that! Did you see his video? Imagine your freezer flush with several particular types of ice cubes ready to pair with the drinks being served. If you are as organized as Colin, then you know about Couture Cubes. Scotch on the rocks? Reach for the wonderful big round ice ball to keep your drink from watering down. A dark and stormy? Freeze your ice in tall Popsicle shaped ice cubes. Tequila? Nothing else will do but the tall shards of ice served in a champagne flute. Are you looking at last summer’s stale ice cubes and wondering where you went wrong? Don’t despair, there is hope yet for my ice cubed challenged friends. See page 145 of his book. A tip from the book: make your own “couture” ice cubes this holiday season. Look for star shapes, jewels, and flowers for mixed drinks. This is not just for alcoholic beverages, more ideas abound for the designated driver refreshments. Use ziploc bags to keep your ice cube shapes from shattering and picking up freezer odors.

Whether planning for a holiday party or planning to remodel your kitchen, make a true assessment of your space. Think about your lifestyle and design your kitchen around you and your family. An entertainers kitchen, a family kitchen, whatever it is, build in features that make your space special to you and your family. Clear out items that make no sense to hold onto.

My top ten favorite features in Colin’s contemporary kitchen and beyond:

  1. The under cabinet lighting is concealed without a light rail for a contemporary elegant detail. The bottom of the wall cabinet is recessed to achieve this attractive detail. No clunky light rail.
  2. The return of the oak cabinet but in a very modern way. The cabinets are gray. Colin’s reason for this is that he wants the food to be the center stage in his kitchen. Color pops with the accent of all white dinnerware and color from the stemware.
  3. The everyday dinnerware is located directly above the dishwasher for ease of access.
  4. The silverware drawer is built deeper, “as it should be”to allow several sets of silverware to be stacked one above the other. I don’t know why more face frame cabinet manufacturers won’t give us this option without going to great lengths to customize. This should be a basic feature. If you order frame-less cabinets you can pick up more space with the absence of the face frame, but still not as much as it should be.
    One of my tricks I will share with you: instead of a drawer, order a base cabinet with a full height door and add several deeper roll out trays for cutlery. You can store much more in the same cubic space in stead of a standard door/drawer combo.
  5. The storage: a well stocked freezer with chickens, racks of lamb, frozen soups, chicken and beef stocks. If your kitchen is small like Colin’s, plan for a freezer in your garage to stock up on all the necessities.
  6. Organize your spices alphabetically with the labels facing out, (I know it is a little reminiscent of the eerie move, “Sleeping with the Enemy”, but to be ready to entertain, you want to see everything at once in a well organized spice cabinet or drawer. as for spice storage, I avoid designing with swing out spice racks in wall cabinets, because I don’t like small jars falling off the rack. I find most of my clients feel the same. I prefer a wide drawer with all the spices at easy viewing. Again, this is where slightly deeper drawers would come in handy. Or utilize the pull out wall cabinets that are so handy for seeing all your spices. Warning about decorative wall mount spice racks above a stove: spices should be kept in the dark and away from heat to preserve the freshness. Also watch the expiration dates. Use them or loose the flavors in your next meal. Buying Costco sized spices? Are you really going to benefit from that much? Unless you are serving 1000 people a day, the best bet with spices is to buy smaller quantities to enjoy the freshness.
  7. Zoning: keep all the foils, wraps, plastic, wax paper in a drawer close to the refrigerator for ease of wrapping up left overs.
  8. Music. I love to have music piped in to my kitchen as I prepare a meal. It can be as simple as a shelf mini stereo or when planning your kitchen, factor in a place to hold a reciever and install built in speakers from the ceiling. My client in the Hollywood Hills had a very small kitchen and we found the perfect spot in the wall cabinet over the refrigerator to house his small Bose system. The doors were removed for ventilation and to access with a remote. CD changing was not a problem as he kept his top 5 in there and changed them out at random. Music equipement needs air circulation. Be sure to factor that in your design.
  9. Shop for fresh produce. Get out to your local farmers market. It is cheaper than buying frozen and tastes so much better.
  10. Enjoy your holidays!

Laurie

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Posted in Consumer Protection, Green Design, Hot Topics, Humor in the Kitchen, Kitchen Trends, Planning, Ventilation, Windows

Are You Creating a First Stage Smog Alert in Your Home?


California leads the rest of the States as being the forerunner in enacting progressive environmental changes and as such will continue to apply tighter controls on manufacturing and industry in California. It is no surprise that California’s Environmental Protection Agency air quality standards are higher than other states.

So here we go again! EPA has a fact sheet: Beware of Ozone-generating Indoor “Air Purifiers” It didn’t take much to shock me when I learned I may have been contributing to making my asthma worse. What I want to know is, “why didn’t I know this sooner?” This Fact Sheet from the California EPA Air Resource Board was published March 2006. The LA Times reported in an article dated September 28,2007 that the California Resource Board just banned them on Thursday, stating that studies have found “that they can worsen conditions such as asthma that marketers claim they help prevent.”

Holy guacamole! I inadvertently created my own work place health hazard!

I bought mine because they were advertising on the radio all the time and everyone swore by them. I trusted the advertising. I read all the literature and it all appeared to rid the allergens and that sounded good to me. It must be good for asthmatics, right? Wrong according the ARB. The problem is the makers of these air purifiers can sell them to the unsuspecting public who are led to believe they will benefit from the use of these machines, when the truth is there is no government agency that has the authority to fully regulate these devises. The California ARB is actively working to educate professionals and the public about the dangers of using ozone generators. I am printing this ARB fact sheet and handing it to my doctor this week.

Let the Buyer Beware
I am outraged. I have two of these air purifiers, one in my car and one at work. I run them constantly on purify. Also, I am in the habit of putting the thing to “sanitize mode” once in a while, thinking I was “cleaning the air” by ridding the air of allergens and mold. Now I read in the fact sheet from the EPA that exposure to ozone irritates and inflames the lining of the respiratory system. It causes coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. (I actually brought the one at work from home, thinking that I was doing a good thing by “purifying my office”). In fact, when I come to work, my symptoms worsen, I choke for air and have a difficult time talking without coughing for air. It is horrible being in the middle of a presentation and not be able to talk because I cannot breathe! At home, I don’t have such a difficult time.

In doing further research I discovered that the problem is not just isolated to air purifiers. The lack of government involvement has led to companies who manufacture these types of products to not adhere to any testing standards and market products that are considered to cause potentially damaging health risks.

The recommendation:
The ARB states “We strongly advise against the use of ozone generators in occupied spaces. Other governmental agencies agree with this advise. (2. 3) Excerpted from the March 2006 Fact Sheet, Beware of Ozone- Generating Indoor “Air Purifiers.” For more information, contact the Air Quality Resource Board, Research division Indoor Air Quality Program, (916) 322-8282 (indoor information message line). Or go to http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/indoor/indoor.htm
After reading the information, I decided to turn off my Air Purifier. I’ll see if I feel better with the confounded machine turned off. Boy, am I mad!

So what does this have to do with planning my kitchen remodel you ask?
Kitchen’s are a source of indoor air pollution and need to be vented properly. Cooking generates grease, smoke, cooking odor, moisture and even some toxic emissions form gas ovens, ranges and cook tops, wood burning bricked open pizza ovens all contribute to a major source of indoor air pollution in your home. When planning a kitchen you must not overlook the importance of healthy indoor air.

  • Proper ventilation with the use of a vent hood is the most effective source of ventilation. Although they can be noisy, they do not have to be run for long.
  • Recirculating or unvented models that do not require ducting pulls air through a filter and returns it into the room. They are not as effective a method of moving combustion gasses and should only be used in cases where it is impossible to duct the exhaust to the outside.
  • Downdrafts are an alternative to the overhead vent systems. Their biggest drawback is they don’t do as well for cooking with tall pots.
  • Another way to get rid of stale indoor air is with a centrally located device.
  • Fresh air from kitchen windows to help with the exchange of air. Turn your vent fan on to exhaust the smoke and grease and open your window to bring in fresh air. Take care to not let the rush of fresh air to blow out the gas flame.
  • Room Exhaust fans and also the central HVAC Systems distribute and exchange the air.
(Cited from the National Kitchen and Bath Association, Kitchen and Bath Systems).

Other ways to minimize the release of outdoor pollutants indoors:

  • Carefully follow the directions on sumer products such as cleaning agents, paints and glues;
  • Properly maintain and operate gas-and wood-burning appliances;
  • Restrict smoking to outdoor areas.
  • Purchase building materials and wood furniture that do not emit formaldehyde;
  • use candles and incense sparingly, if at all and
  • Clean frequently and throughly to prevent dust and mold build-up.
Posted in Bathrooms, Consumer Protection, Ventilation

Keep your Bathroom Mold Free


What is a bathroom topic doing in a Kitchen Blog you may be asking yourself. Occasionally, I venture into designing bathrooms for clients. One client asked me lately about controlling mold growth. Here is a link to an article I found, “Keep Your Bathroom Mold Free”, that offers simple tips anyone can follow. These are simple and sound tips I find myself sharing with clients all the time. I find it interesting that most people don’t run the vent fan in the bathroom at all, a very useful piece of equipment to evacuate steam and moisture from a bathroom. Check out the the link is to The Daily Tubber, a fun and useful website on claw foot tubs and other interesting bathroom facts.

Keep in mind, nothing can be 100% bullet proof, mold needs food and water to grow. Any wet environment can become a breeding ground if left untreated and neglected from day to day maintenance.

You can specify materials that will act as preventive measures in building your project but don’t forget to keep up the maintenance once the contractors are gone. For instance, epoxy grouts are gaining popularity in residential applications. Custom Building Products has a product called 100% Epoxy. It contains a product called MoldGard® Technology — Custom Building Products’ effective and environmentally sound approach designed to inhibit moisture intrusion and neutralize the food source that mold and mildew thrive on. It Combines with any Polyblend® Sanded Tile Grout to produce a highly stain-resistant and chemical-resistant epoxy grout. Laticrete has a product called SpectraLOCK, an epoxy based grout that utilizes a revolutionary breakthrough in technology. Its unique cross-linking system performs like an epoxy with respect to color uniformity, durability, and stain resistance and it is easy to use like a Portland cement base grout.

There are disclaimers with these products you should be aware of:
1. Some soft polished marble or delicate glazed or glass tile might be scratched. Laticrete recommends applying a small test area to determine results before grouting entire installation.
2. Epoxy resins may affect the color of porous stone. Verify results with a test area.
3. LATICRETE SpectraLOCK Grout is resistant to staining when exposed to most household products and cleaners (e.g. ketchup). However, long term exposure to any material without
proper cleaning and maintenance will increase the probability of staining.
4. Custom Building products cautions when used on exterior installations, color variations may occur over time, especially with lighter shades. May stain light colored marble or stone. Test a small area and check for staining prior to grouting the entire installation.

Another day: I’ll come back to talk about paperless drywall.