From furniture, cutlery, wicker baskets to Christmas decorations, we have seen plenty of DIY paint-dipped projects in 2012. I was also inspired by this mini trend. You may remember that I dipped the spoons and folks for my son’s jungle themed first birthday party. West-Elm even carried a dipped side table — sadly, this cute small round table is no longer available. Continue Reading
You don’t need a designer’s eye to spot the biggest trend of the year – just walk into your favourite décor and fashion shops and it will be everywhere you look: color! (Just ask Pantone’s colour of the year, Tangerine Tango!)
But with so many shades to love and choose from, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, and just as easy to go overboard. Keep it simple by adding color through accessories, whether they’re on your sofa, perched on a shelf or found around your neck.
Love your all-white kitchen but want to inject a jolt of color? Don’t pull out the paint just yet. Contemporary kitchenware design company Joseph Joseph creates clever and cool tools in shades of hot pink, chartreuse green, vibrant purple and more. When you’re ready to return to minimalist land, just tuck them in a drawer until your next kitchen encounter.
Here are a few of our faves:
Scoop Colander, $7
Wire-mesh scoops work well for Asian cooking, but small pieces of food require a finer sieve. We love this scoop colander because it eliminates the cumbersome process of draining liquids from a pot, and works well as an everyday serving utensil.
Twist 2-in-1 Whisk, $10
When is a whisk more than whisk? When a simple turn of the handle transforms it from sauce stirrer to egg white whipper. Store it folded flat to maximize storage and keep other utensils from becoming tangled.
Arena Self-draining Dish Rack, $45
If you have to do the dishes, you might as well stack them in style. Though not made for large loads (it will hold up to four place settings), this round design slopes toward the sink so water can easily drain. This is a great option for small kitchens without a lot of counter space.
Stretch Expandable Silicone Pot Stand, $16
The problem with most trivets is that you need more than one to accommodate large sized platters and or multiple pans. The Stretch pot stand does just that to fit a variety of cook- and servingware.
+ Joseph Joseph
Who says the everyday can’t be artful? These images by Swedish still-life photographer Carl Kleiner caught our eye when we recognized a few iconic Ikea kitchen pieces in the compositions.
The photographer behind Ikea’s Homebaked is Best recipe book , Carl Kleiner is known for his minimialist, graphic approach, yet these photos have their share of charm too thanks to a few hidden faces in the table settings.
Not only will we be taking inspiration from these when its time to set the table for our next dinner party – at least when it comes to colour and pattern –, we’d also love to see the photos available as prints. They’d make a great option for colourful artwork in the kitchen.
Here is a clever, space saving idea. Link uses your existing cutlery and transforms it into a handy pair of tongs, salad servers. It looks great for outdoor entertaining. This nifty silicone connector is also practical for a picnic since you could only carry Link and use your utensils for serving before you eat.
It is designed by Studio Dreimann, a German studio who creates and designs consumer goods, industrial goods and furniture.
+ Link by Studio Dreinmann £9.90 at Theo
There seems to be no end to the versatility of baking tins: from container gardens to home office organizing stations. Though as useful as they may be elsewhere in your home, turns out they can be put to creative use in the kitchen too.
With its inverted moulds, Wilton’s Non-Stick Ice Cream Cookie Bowl tray makes a simple scoop of ice cream practically gourmet. The fluted edges of each “bowl” mimic vintage ice cream sundae dishes, but you can create the look (and the taste) for less by flipping over a regular muffin tin, adding a generous coat of cooking spray and forming your cookie dough around the mounds.
Lest you work up a sweat baking these sweet treats in the summer heat, keep cool by adding oversized ice cubes to your drink. Place slices of lemon and lime in muffin tins, fill with water and freeze! Try freezing cucumbers and pairing them with this recipe for Spa Cucumber Water, or use berries and plop the ice cubes in a punchbowl. If you don’t have a large freezer, remember to make room to balance the muffin tin.
We want to know: have you re-purposed kitchen tools or utensils in creative ways? Share your tip in the comments!
You may recall the Norm Carving and Serving sets that I introduced last year. This year, Menu improved on it by making a smaller version. I consider it an improvement because the original did not fit inside a standard upper kitchen cabinet. The New Norm Complete Tray Set with its 11 inches of circumference does.
The Scandinavian company Menu added a salad bowl that comes with a similar cooling element. The Norm Cool Bowl is a must to serve fresher salads, cold dishes and desserts at a buffet, a chic picnic or a BBQ.
I like the idea of a salt and pepper grinder that will not leave grains on my table. Although the concept is not new, the Bottle Grinder is probably the most stylish version I have seen so far. Select one in ash and the other in carbon to create a stunning set.
In Your Kitchen
Dropp! is fruit bowl fashioned as a large, soft drop of paint. It will add a touch of fun in your kitchen. Dropp! is available in 6 colors.
+ New Norm Complete Tray Set by Menu $119.95 USD at Emmo Home
+ Menu New Norm Cool Bowl $99.95 USD at Cookware.com
+ Menu Bottle Grinder $44.95 USD at CSN Stores , which ships to Canada and USA
+ Dropp! Fruit Bowl by Menu $64.95 USD at Emmo Home
A couple of weeks ago we shared a few creative container garden ideas – including one that made use of old muffin tins. Tin loaf pans would work well as makeshift garden planters too, but they look just as lovely hung in a row on a bright kitchen wall.
These rustic tins look fresh when filled with colourful kitchen linens, shiny silverware and cheap-and-chic citrus fruits, but they’re easy to imagine in other corners of your home too.
Try them in the office to organize paperwork and stationery supplies; in a garden shed to keep seed packs, twine and garden gloves within reach; or in a crafty corner filled with scissors, ribbon spools and a stack of fabric fat quarters. No matter where you find a place for this DIY, it adds a touch of upcycled, old-meets-new charm.
It’s easy to see why this simple, versatile project made ReadyMade Magazine’s list of 100 best projects of the year. (Check out the complete list for more clever, reader-submitted projects!)
The first long weekend of summer – Victoria Day in Canada and Memorial Day in the U.S. – doesn’t just kick off the sunshine season, but camping season too.
Unfortunately for campers, at least those of us in Canada, Victoria Day weekend weather is notoriously unreliable. In my experience, thunderstorms, howling wind and even (shiver!) a dusting of snow have made an appearance (just thankfully not all at once).
One needs to be prepared for any kind of weather, even if it means keeping a cozy indoor spot on standby. But you don’t have to throw out your camping traditions with your soggy sleeping bag.
This indoor s’more maker is designed to be used any time, anywhere: no open flame required. Build your s’mores in the baskets and slide the wire rack into your oven, toaster oven or barbecue. And unless you want oven-cleaning to be a part of your long weekend plans, be sure to stack the rack on a cookie sheet to catch, ooey-gooey marshmallow drips.
+ Indoor S’more Maker from Plow Hearth, $24.95 USD
One of the best things about ordering a salad in a great restaurant is that it’s often too pretty to eat. Vegetables are sliced and diced in decorative ways you’d probably never attempt if you were tossing one together at home. I always get a kick out of finely julienned carrots that look like bright orange silly string on a plate.
Though you may think it takes expert chopping skills to produce such delightful results, there’s a kitchen tool that can do most of the work. A julienne peeler is a very affordable kitchen addition that can add a bit of fun to your dishes and save you a bit of prep work. Use it to slice veggies them for salad, stir fry, spring or cold rolls.
Carrots are the obvious target for this easy-to-use tool, but it would work just as well on beets, cucumbers, zucchini or on potatoes to create pomme frites.
We rounded up a few options at various price points, but you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one in a kitchen supply store.
1. Progressive Julienne Peeler from Kitchen Stuff Plus $4.99 CAD
2. Kuhn Rikon Julienne Peeler with blade protector, $20 CAD
3. Messermeister 800-60 Pro Touch Julienne Cutter from Amazon.ca, $7.12 CAD
4. Zyliss Julienne Peeler from Amazon.ca, $7.99 CAD
Ever aspired to create a beautiful, multi-layered cake that rivals your favourite pastry shop – only to end up with a lopsided dessert resembling the Leaning Tower of Pisa? Well hold on to your cake stand!
This 3-piece layer slicing kit comes with an adjustable slicing mold to fit cakes with a 10″ or 11″ diameter. Use the serrated baker’s knife to slice up to 8 layers and the accompanying cake lifter to move and stack layers while you add filling.
If you’re on dessert duty for an upcoming spring event, such as a bridal/baby shower or a Mother’s Day brunch, make this cool kitchen tool your next must-have baking essential. Wowing guests will be (dare we say it?) a piece of cake.
It is a fact that parents with babies are time-crunched. I begin my third week with my baby at home and I came to appreciate the efficiency of my toaster and our Nespresso machine.
Now, I frequently use the reheat function of my toaster. Before we have Zack, I only use once. Diaper changing or something else may disturb me and my toast will rest on the plate longer than it should. The reheat function means that I do not throw it away. This is important since going to buy a new loaf of bread is not always an easy task. Several brands propose it. I bought the Breville ikon 2-Slice Toaster. I saw that Philips seems to make a good one.
You will need a coffee boast a few times a day to stay awake. We switched to Nespresso because it is fast, easy and tasty. I still make me a small pot of French press in the morning but the rest of the time, I drink an espresso or lungo made with my Nespresso machine.
Food-wise, having instant oatmeal, yogurt, fresh fruits charcuterie and soups are a life saver. As you can see, my eating habits are erratic during the day. But my husband and I try to find the time to eat a relax dinner, even if that means eating at 10 PM.