How To Use Kitchen Shelves To Balance Looks And Functionality

Sourced content from:

Kitchen shelves are practical and very versatile and there’s basically an infinite number of ways in which you can take advantage of that. Whether you’re simply adding a single little shelf on your kitchen wall as a way to fill an empty space or you fill an entire wall with shelves so you can it into a storage area, the bottom line is you’re still taking advantage of the the amazingly versatile and customizable nature of kitchen shelves. Curious to see what others managed to do in this sense? Check out all of these amazing ideas:

One of the shelves curves and bends to actually connect the upper and lower cabinets
One of the shelves curves and bends to actually connect the upper and lower cabinets

Think of shelves as accessories which complement large pieces of furniture such as cabinets and cupboards. It doesn’t really matter if they’re physically attached to the furniture or just placed in its proximity.

You can add accent lighting to your kitchen shelves to highlight the items which they hold
You can add accent lighting to your kitchen shelves to highlight the items which they hold

One of the reasons why kitchen shelves are so useful and versatile has to do with the fact that they let you store items while also putting them on display. This works out great if you use them to organize potted plants, dishes and even small appliances.

The backsplash shelves add valuable storage for spices, tools and the usual kitchen accessories
The backsplash shelves add valuable storage for spices, tools and the usual kitchen accessories

The two wooden shelves complement these gray kitchen cabinets and the subway tiled backsplash in a very natural way. Their presence makes a lot of sense in this setup, given the ceiling height and the placement of the upper cabinets.

The role of the shelves in this case is mostly decorative although that doesn't make them any less useful
The role of the shelves in this case is mostly decorative although that doesn’t make them any less useful

In this case the two small shelves act as a sort of ledges where you can keep things like a cookbook or two, some spice jars, paper towels, etc. They give the kitchen a symmetrical look and they fill in the gaps without creating a cluttered look.

You can have an entire wall full of open shelves in your kitchen so you can put a ton of things on display
You can have an entire wall full of open shelves in your kitchen so you can put a ton of things on display

Kitchen shelves, whatever the style or type may be, are super practical because they let you store and organize lots of things and they keep everything exposed and easy to grab. There’s no need to open any doors to pull out any drawers. Everything is right there.

The wood and metal combo suits these kitchen shelves well, especially with the exposed brick backdrop
The wood and metal combo suits these kitchen shelves well, especially with the exposed brick backdrop

Shelves and shelving units can be customized to complement existing pieces of furniture which lets you create harmonious and cohesive designs and well-organized spaces. Take this kitchen for example. The shelves perfectly match the cabinetry but somehow maintain their uniqueness.

Highlight you kitchen shelves or cabinetry with LED strips which also help create a warm and welcoming decor
Highlight you kitchen shelves or cabinetry with LED strips which also help create a warm and welcoming decor

You can create the appearance of an open design similar to what shelving units offers without actually relying on shelves in the classical sense of the term. What we actually mean is that a cabinet with a clear glass front will look a lot like a shelving unit.

The top shelf here has a mirrored back panel and that's a great little design trick meant to give the impression of a larger space
The top shelf here has a mirrored back panel and that’s a great little design trick meant to give the impression of a larger space

Open shelves make spaces seem more airy and sometimes bigger too and that ‘s especially useful in the case of the kitchen which is a space usually packed with functionality and little room for anything else.

A shelf is used here to frame the backsplash and to mark the line between the tiles and the wallpaper
A shelf is used here to frame the backsplash and to mark the line between the tiles and the wallpaper

Integrating shelves in a kitchen’s design is easy, especially when they’re meant to complement modern cabinets or custom-built units.You can casually insert a shelf or two among drawers and closed cabinet modules or use shelves as space delineators.

A row of tall and narrow box shelves intersects with the upper cabinets and gives the kitchen a geometric look
A row of tall and narrow box shelves intersects with the upper cabinets and gives the kitchen a geometric look

Kitchen shelves can serve a variety of purposes. The long and narrow ones can form a storage nook for bottles. In that sense you can also create a horizontal bottle rack which you can embed into the kitchen island or just stack them somewhere in a corner.

The open shelves positioned above the counter offer convenient storage for everyday items
The open shelves positioned above the counter offer convenient storage for everyday items

Kitchen shelves can also be used to create a symmetrical furniture configuration. For example, three open shelves are placed on either side of the range hood and at the same time the counter space and lower cabinets are divided into three sections.

A single simple shelf can change a lot a kitchen and can really make a difference storage-wise
A single simple shelf can change a lot a kitchen and can really make a difference storage-wise

If the counter height and upper cabinets allow it, you can install a shelf or even two onto the backsplash. Add hooks so you can hag utensils or use it to store and organize your spices and others you usually need when cooking.

Add a thin safety rod to prevent the items from falling off the shelves. It's especially useful for jars and bottles
Add a thin safety rod to prevent the items from falling off the shelves. It’s especially useful for jars and bottles

A few shallow shelves such as these ones can nicely fill an empty corner or can create a small storage station for jars, bottles, glasses and a few other related things. Add LED strips to highlight the contents of each shelf.

The industrial look is not for everyone. It suits large restaurant-inspired kitchens
The industrial look is not for everyone. It suits large restaurant-inspired kitchens

If the kitchen lacks the usual wall-mounted cabinets that are often suspended above the backsplash, that gives you more freedom to add shelves and other types of storage systems for pots, pans, dishes, utensils and all sorts of other things.

This type of shelves take up little spaces and you can even install them onto the backsplash without fear they'll drastically reduce your counter space
This type of shelves take up little spaces and you can even install them onto the backsplash without fear they’ll drastically reduce your counter space

If you decide to have cabinets under the counter but not above, a cool option is to populate the wall and backsplash with shallow shelves. They’re very useful and very space-efficient which makes them incredibly versatile.

You can add a shelf under the upper cabinets at any time if you feel it won't inconvenience you while prepping and cooking
You can add a shelf under the upper cabinets at any time if you feel it won’t inconvenience you while prepping and cooking

A combination of shelves and open cabinets can also prove to be very useful in the kitchen. Both are practical and space-efficient plus corner kitchen cabinets and shelves maximize space even better. A nice detail in this case can also be fact that the wall or backsplash can still show through.

The open shelves make it easy to store items under the counter where you can easily reach and grab them
The open shelves make it easy to store items under the counter where you can easily reach and grab them

Kitchen shelves are not just for walls. They also fit nicely below the island’s countertop. That works out great especially if the island doubles as a divider between the kitchen and the dining room or the living area.

The shelves can be complemented by a contrasting back panel for a cool and eye-catching look
The shelves can be complemented by a contrasting back panel for a cool and eye-catching look

Shelves can be added around and between existing cabinets or furniture as a way to supplement the storage capacity and to also offer surfaces on which items can be put on display or kept handy for a more efficient layout all around.

An herb garden is a really cool kitchen feature which you can add at any time thanks to the versatility of shelves
An herb garden is a really cool kitchen feature which you can add at any time thanks to the versatility of shelves

You can add shelves which serve specific purposes in the kitchen. For example, you can create your own indoor garden so you always have fresh herbs to season your dishes with. Keep in mind that plants need sunlight.

The post How To Use Kitchen Shelves To Balance Looks And Functionality appeared first on Home Decorating Trends – Homedit.

Did you know that dirty ovens are fire hazards? Here’s how you can prevent a kitchen blaze

Sourced content from:

We’ve all been guilty of failing to give the interior of our oven a good once over. But while a bit of grease and grime accumulating on our oven shelves can seem harmless, a new analysis has revealed that dirt can lead to danger when it comes to this white good staple.

Related: How to clean an oven and hob – including the oven rack and glass door

Oven cleaning specialists Ovenu looked at the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics and found that cooking appliances were responsible for 1 in 5 blazes in homes last year.

dirty oven fire hazard

Image credit: Darren Chung

Further figures showed that food materials are also responsible for igniting nearly one third of all house fires.

Despite this fact a recent study showed that the average Brit cleans their oven just twice a year.

Commenting Rik Hellewell, Managing Director of Ovenu says: ‘Over time food and grease stick to the hot plating, grills and metal trays inside of the oven and if left this will burn whenever its used. Continuous cooking with a dirty oven can create carbon-based fumes and excess smoke during cooking is often an indicator of a potential fire hazard.’

Continuing he added: ‘Homeowners and tenants should really be cleaning their oven at least every 12 weeks or as often a twice a month if it gets heavy use.’

dirty oven fire hazard

Image credit: Simon Whitmore

Before you start cleaning your oven ensure it’s switched off and cool. Cover gas burner jets and any visible heating elements and open doors and windows to ensure your kitchen is well ventilated to ensure you don’t breath in any harmful cleaning chemicals.

Choose the right cleaning products and equipment

dirty oven fire hazard

Image credit: Andrew Woods

Opt for safer caustic-free oven cleaning products that won’t strip away your oven’s natural coating. You’ll also need to have the following items to hand:

  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • A scourer
  • Resealable plastic bags
  • Sponges
  • Rubber gloves
  • An old toothbrush

Oven cavity

Apply your chosen cleaning product to the corners of your oven with a spray or sponge. Leave for a few hours to help break up an stubborn burnt-on food, wipe the inside with a damp sponge and repeat this process until the oven is clean. If there are any areas of dirt or grime that aren’t shifting applying some baking soda and leave overnight. Finally use an old toothbrush to clean those hard-to-reach areas.

Oven shelves

Soak shelves in warm soapy water and leave overnight to break down food and grease before using a scourer to scrub down both sides.

Oven baking trays

Again soak trays in warm soapy water, before scrubbing with a scourer and patting dry. If grease and grime remain mix hot water with bicarbonate of soak and leave trays to soak for an hour before scrubbing.

For a more thorough explanation, read: How to clean an oven and hob – including the oven rack and glass door

Which of the above tips will you follow?

The post Did you know that dirty ovens are fire hazards? Here’s how you can prevent a kitchen blaze appeared first on Ideal Home.

This Destination Is the Most Popular Dream Vacation—We Have a Few Ideas Why

Sourced content from:

If your ideal vacation involves eating a lot of pasta, scoping out artwork and architecture, and enjoying a nice glass of wine, you’re not alone. A new study conducted by booking site Travel Supermarket has revealed that Italy is the most-desired vacation spot for 2019 worldwide.

Using Google’s Keyword Planner, Travel Supermarket uncovered the most searched-for vacation destination in every country. Italy was the top result in places like the United States, Canada, Brazil, China, and Russia. Italians, however, seem to prefer vacations in Spain, which was the second most-searched destination globally. Australia, Greece, and France round out the top five.

It doesn’t come as a surprise that Italy would top the charts for dream destinations, with its widely admired cuisine, millennia of preserved history, and a dynamic mix of bustling cities and awe-inspiring beaches that present the perfect getaway for any type of traveler.

Your dream destination may be the most popular vacation spot in the world, but that doesn’t mean your trip has to be cookie-cutter. If a Roman holiday isn’t quite your speed, opt for these underrated Italian vacations instead.

If you dream of deep blue waters

imagePin It
photography by anna kocharian

You don’t have to go to the Amalfi coast to enjoy the beauty of warm-toned buildings set against turquoise lakes: Franciacorta is known for its sparkling wine and its dreamy 1960s architecture.

If you’re up for a mountain escape

imagePin It

Nestled in the Alps on the Italian border with Switzerland and Austria, Alto Adige presents a different kind of Italian vacation—one where you’ll enjoy delectable wine in view of awe-inspiring mountains. Nature lovers, here’s your spot.

If you’re all about the food

imagePin It
courtesy of iStock

Located a very convenient 30 minutes away from Milan, Parma presents the best of the best for foodies and history lovers alike. Here, you can enjoy Parmigiano-Reggiano in its birthplace and ogle da Vinci’s in Teatro Farnese.

See more dream destinations:
The Most Expensive City in the World Is Still Worth the Trip—Here’s Why

The World’s Most Popular Airbnb Is a Tiny Home in the Woods
Muji’s New Hotel Is a Master Class in Japanese Minimalism

Best electric toothbrush 2019 – the top toothbrushes for healthy teeth and gums

Sourced content from:

Which is the best electric toothbrush to use? We’ve tested a range of models to see which offers the best brush for your buck

When you brush with an electric toothbrush, you do so much more for your oral health than you can with a manual toothbrush. They clean better between teeth, get rid of significantly more plaque, and help you take better care of your gums. All at the push of a button.

Get clued up on the latest tech with our buying guide reviews

Some people might be drawn to electric toothbrushes for aesthetic reasons – we Brits are generally mocked for our teeth (think Mike Myers in ‘Austin Powers’). Americans have long embraced the glaringly white, even smile, and it’s catching on over here. In the age of Instagram and selfies, more people than ever want to improve their teeth, and sales of electric toothbrushes are at an all time high.

And despite what our dentist tells us, a staggering number of us still brush our teeth for less than two minutes. This can, over time, lead to unnecessary, invasive and painful (not to mention expensive) treatment. Thankfully the latest electric toothbrushes are now clever enough that they can bully us into brushing better and for longer.

How do we test our electric toothbrushes

Our tester Chris Haslam has decades of experience of writing about and testing tech. He has been hands on with dozens of toothbrushes, whittling them down to the best. Chris was looking for a toothbrush that cleaned exceptionally, with good battery life. Simple operation was essential – buttons needed to be easy to locate and press, and modes and speeds easy to understand and change. The relative weight of the brush was important, as was the softness or hardness of the bristles. Extras, such as travel cases, or multiple ways of changing, got our brushes extra brownie points.

What is the best electric toothbrush in 2019?

Our overall best electric toothbrush was the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart, which we rate for its unrivalled all-round cleaning ability and clever extras.

Why do I need an electric toothbrush?

Image credit: Tim Young

It’s no exaggeration to say that regular teeth cleaning could help you live longer. Good oral hygiene can improve our general health far beyond a pretty smile. Recent research found that gum disease can speed up mental decline – such as the progression of Alzheimer’s – by as much as six times.

Aside from the health benefits, and better smelling breath, using an electric toothbrush can improve your brushing technique. They can alert you if you press too hard – something that can wear gums away over time. Thanks to built-in timers they can help you to brush for two minutes, which is something must people fail to do when pushed for time.

Top-end electric toothbrushes can also help with that Instagram smile, thanks to whitening modes, as well as sensitive and gum care. Some even have tongue cleaning modes, but even the most basic electric design can improve the quality of your brushing and the cleanliness of your teeth.

Best electric toothbrushes

1. Oral B Genius 9000 – best for features

best-toothbrushes-01 - Oral-b_genius_9000

This top-of-the-range electric toothbrush is packed with six independent cleaning modes – Pro Clean, Daily Clean, Sensitive, Tongue Cleaning, Whitening and Gum Care. It also has timers to make sure you brush for long enough and pressure sensors to prevent you pushing too hard. A smartphone app and unique Position Detection mode uses your phone’s camera to map your mouth as you clean to be sure every angle is cleaned properly.

Oral-B claims that its Deep Clean Mode removes ‘up to 99.7 per cent of hard-to-reach’ plaque and it uses an oscillating rather than sonic cleaning action. This design cleans individual teeth and feels more vigorous than the sonic designs. Our teeth felt exceptionally clean after using. On the electric toothbrush handle there’s a 360° SmartRing that illuminates when you brush too hard.

The electric toothbrush smartphone app (Android, iOS) connects via Bluetooth and will record your every brush stroke and provide feedback on how long and how thoroughly you clean. The brush itself has memory for 20 brushes so if you don’t have your smartphone close, you won’t lose your brushing data. It comes with a smartphone mount that sticks to your bathroom mirror. This isn’t for watching Netflix while you floss! Instead, it uses the phone camera to watch you brush and analyses your technique. At the end you get a score out of 100 on how you’ve performed.

It’s a neat trick and when it works, it offers useful insight. However, not only is it tedious standing still in front of the mirror, but we found the app struggled to track us even when stationary. The cheaper SmartSeries app-controlled Oral B electric toothbrushes without the extra technology may prove better value for money (see number 7 in our round-up).

Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Buy now: Oral B Genius 9000, £104, Amazon

2. Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart – best for all-round cleaning

best-toothbrushes-02 - Philips Sonicare DC Black Product 1 (5)

There’s no getting away from the fact that this electric toothbrush is exceptionally expensive. However, after just a week of using it our teeth, felt super clean. Thanks to the smart app features, we understood more about oral hygiene. There are five modes and three intensity settings; clean, for everyday cleaning; white, to remove surface stains; deep clean and gum health, and the idea being you treat your teeth to some extra attention once in a while.

As for the app, once you download and sync the toothbrush to your smartphone it will track your brushing. With the help of a mouth map you’ll see where you need to brush more, and you’ll be alerted if you’re pressing too hard. Once you’ve finished the set two minute clean it will show you where to clean more thoroughly. It is very clever stuff, but all a bit unnecessary. After a few days we started to skip using the app and just let the toothbrush tell us (by vibrating) where to brush.

The electric toothbrush base even lights up if you press too hard. This toothbrush comes with a neat glass stand that plugs into a shaver socket, and a more practical travel case that also doubles as a charger. You also get various brush heads for the different modes and a dedicated tongue-cleaner.

If your budget will stretch, we recommend combining this – or one of the others in the Sonicare range – with a water/air flossing machine. It’s the closest thing to having your very own hygienist at home(without the disapproving looks and funny pink water).

Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Buy now: Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart, £260, Amazon

3. Colgate ProClinical 250+ – best value electric toothbrush

best-toothbrushes-03 - Colgate PrClinical Black (out of box)

Available in three colours (black, white and pink), this dinky electric toothbrush from Colgate doesn’t look especially hi-tech, but for just £50 it boasts two distinct sonic cleaning motions: up-down and side-to-side. It did a very good job of cleaning our teeth and gums. Not much bigger than a standard manual toothbrush, it’s great for travel and won’t clutter up the bathroom. After a few days we noticed our teeth felt significantly smoother than they did with an older rotating-head toothbrush.

Although it lacks the plethora of smart features found elsewhere, there is a two-minute timer with auto-off when you’ve brushed for long enough. It will vibrate after 30 seconds to tell you to move to another part of the mouth. It’s faff-free. The bristles are quite soft but, trust us, that doesn’t mean they’re not doing a good job. A choice of power settings would have been useful and we would have appreciated a spare brush head. But in reality, this electric toothbrush is all about simplicity and is much better than average at cleaning.

Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Buy now: Colgate ProClinical 250+, £12.99, Amazon

4. Colgate Minions Kids Interactive Battery Brush– best electric toothbrush for kids

best-toothbrushes-04 - Colgate Minions electric battery toothbrush

Suitable for young children (aged 3+) this super little electric toothbrush managed to transform tooth brushing time in my house from a daily battle to a fun activity. The extra-soft bristles with two-part oscillating head design get into any nooks easily. The vibrations, while strong enough to get rid of plaque, don’t have the fierce motorised power of adult electric toothbrushes.

But the real story here is the fact that once you turn it on a Minion will talk your child through a two-minute brushing programme. The brush will tell them to move to specific parts of the mouth (top left, button right, front etc.). This makes the obligatory two-minute clean fly by.

One of the best things about this brush is the positive reinforcement offered by the built-in brushing ‘coach’. It’s also good that if the user presses too hard there’s a vibration to warn them to be gentler. But it’s not all good news – while the batteries can be replaced, the brush head is fixed, so when the bristles wear out the whole unit has to go in the bin.

Ideal Home’s rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Buy now: Colgate Minions Kids Interactive Battery Brush, £3, Amazon

5. Foreo ISSA 2 electric toothbrush – best travel electric toothbrush

best-toothbrushes-05 - FOREO_ISSA2_Stand-Alone_PINK_FRONT_TRANSPARENT copy

The Foreo ISSA 2 electric toothbrush has a slinky modern design (available in blue, black, lavender and mint) that’s more sculptural than pharmaceutical. But all the smooth silicone means it is extremely hygienic. It only has one cleaning mode but comes with an impressive 16 power levels and two brush heads. One is completely made of silicone and one combines silicone with traditional super-soft bristles for a very gentle clean.

Using a silicone brush head feels extremely odd to start with, but despite it feeling weird, the supersonic 11,000 brush strokes per min does get your teeth clean. We thought the all-silicone electric toothbrush performed well. While not sure we would swap a traditional electric brush head for it, some people will clearly love the look and the result.

The Foreo electric toothbrush can be charged using USB and it will warn you when the battery is running low instead of just running out of steam mid-brush. A two-minute timer with 30-second buzzes to remind you to move to a different part of your mouth. Best of all, the battery can last a year and there’s a lock so you don’t have to worry about it buzzing away in your suitcase.

Ideal Home’s rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Buy now: Foreo ISSA 2, £129, Amazon

6. Philips Sonicare AirFloss Pro dental flosser – best for healthy gums

best-toothbrushes-06 - Philips Sonicare AirFloss Pro dental flosser mouthwash

So much easier to use than regular dental floss, this automatic teeth flosser uses micro-droplet technology, which combines bursts of air and water to powerfully remove plaque. Philips claim that when used alongside an electric toothbrush, it removes up to 99.9% of plaque, and when used regularly you’ll have healthier gums in two weeks.

This dental flosser gives a quick blast of air and water (it comes with a bottle of mouthwash) between your teeth, helping to blast the bad stuff away. It’s super simple to use and you can either press the button as you need to or hold it down for regular automatic bursts. It’s a weird sensation, but you’ll soon get used to it and you can really feel the difference in just a minute.

Flossing your teeth can be an absolute pain, but this is fast and effective with none of the discomfort or faffing. Battery life lasts around two weeks of daily use and it can easily be charged on the stand provided. There’s even the option to personalise the cleaning if you want a single, double or triple burst of clean. This electric dental flosser is expensive – especially if you’re also buying an electric toothbrush – but the combination will make a huge difference to your dental health.

Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Buy now: Philips Sonicare AirFloss Pro dental flosser, £72, Amazon

7. Oral B Pro Expert Pulsar 35 Soft Toothbrush – best budget electric toothbrush

best-toothbrushes2-07 - Oral B Pro Expert Pulsar 35 Soft Toothbrush

We were reticent about including this disposable electric toothbrush because the concept seems unnecessarily wasteful. However, unlike some, the battery can be removed and recycled and some of the plastic parts can also be recycled.

While nowhere near as effective as a proper electric, compared to a bog-standard manual brush you can really feel the difference. For the price, it makes a great travel brush, or a first step towards a full electric. The bristles were quite soft, and without the pulsar motion switched on it didn’t clean anywhere near as well. But thankfully the battery lasted longer than three months, which is the recommended time to replace your manual brush.

Ideal Home’s rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Buy now: Oral B Pro Expert Pulsar 35 Soft Toothbrush, £4, Amazon

What are the main features of an electric toothbrush?

best-toothbrushes-06 - Philips Sonicare AirFloss Pro dental flosser lifestyle

Image credit: Philips

1. Cleaning modes

Look for brushes with a couple of specialist modes, such as whitening or gum care. They often use a different brush head and help you to target specific problems. At the very least your brush should come with a couple of power settings which makes it ideal if you’re sharing with family members.

2. Replacement heads

Most brands now offer different style heads for various cleaning modes, including those for sensitive gums and whitening. Remember, you need to replace the brush head ever three months.

3. Timers

Many electric toothbrushes come with built-in timers that stop once you’ve hit the magic two-minute mark or vibrate after 30 seconds to remind you to move to a different part of your mouth.

3. Travel case

Going away shouldn’t mean your teeth suffer, so look for cases that keep your brush and spare head safe. Some also have built-in charging for added convenience.

4. Charging

The majority of models available in the UK come with a 2-pin shaving socket plug for charging. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to get a simple plug adapter. Newer models now come with USB charging for added convenience.

5. Connected cleaning

Some electric toothbrushes come with a free smartphone app that gathers data on how you brush and helps you improve your oral hygiene. It’s helpful to see how you brush your teeth, and where you need to improve. Plus, the apps can remind you to buy new brush heads.

How much should I spend on an electric toothbrush?

We’ve tested models from £7 to well over £300, but you can buy a great quality electric toothbrush for between £30-£80. Look out for promotions on big-brand toothbrushes.

The top-of-the-range electric toothbrushes come with many features, but in our tests, many of the headline grabbing extras – smartphone apps for instance – were ignored after the novelty wore off. Travel cases and good charging bases are the most practical extras.

Oscillating or sonic electric toothbrushes – which is best?

Image credit: David Giles

  • Oscillating-rotating brushes have a small, circular brush head that targets individual teeth, while the brush head of sonic (or super-sonic) toothbrush is similar to that of a manual toothbrush.
  • Oscillating electric toothbrushes tend to have rotation at between 2,500 and 7,500 brushes per minute in comparison to only 300 manually. Sonic brushes offer an estimated 30,000 brushes per minute.
  • There have been various clinical trials done to answer this question. Tests in 2009 and 2010 ranked them equally good at removing plaque.
  • The good news is that all leading toothbrush manufacturers offer a money-back guarantee (typically a month) so you can try both and decide which you prefer.

The post Best electric toothbrush 2019 – the top toothbrushes for healthy teeth and gums appeared first on Ideal Home.

The One About Kevin’s Dad

Sourced content from:

“Some days ideas come easier than others. Some days it’s like pulling hen’s teeth.” – Jim Palmer     This morning was perfect. Sunny, colorful, calm. Other than the pollen, Spring is such a fun season, don’t you think? (Achoo!) Wrinkled brown seeds turn into rainbows in the dirt, and birdsong is carried on the…

Read More

The post The One About Kevin’s Dad appeared first on The Lettered Cottage.

Weekend Reading

Sourced content from:

Yesterday I spent the day in San Francisco with my client, her full scale home renovation is underway and we’ve made some exciting progress! The bathrooms are nearly complete and the kitchen cabinets will be installed soon, it’s all coming together beautifully and I cannot wait to share these spaces with you!

I have a few local projects in the works as well, a patio makeover for a good friend is in progress and a DIY shelf project for me! I’m off to gather the wood to my design come to life, stay tuned!

Meanwhile the favorite links from the week….

I love the mix of materials in this kitchen renovation. 

Black and white and brass looking so good in this kitchen.

This custom marble entry floor is stunning, don’t you think?

I bought this bedside charging vase for a friend’s birthday, but now I want one too!

What to do when your airline goes bankrupt.

The beauty of taking a social media break.

Having fun is a virtue, it is not a guilty pleasure. 🙂

The anti-aging effects of running and high intensity interval training.

“…love later in life [at 82] has been every bit as enthralling as when I was young.”

Small living room ideas – how to decorate a cosy and compact sitting room, snug or lounge

Sourced content from:

If you are looking for small living room ideas, take inspiration from our gallery of beautiful small space designs to unlock the potential of your compact living room.

When you are redecorating, one of the easiest ways to make a small living room feel more spacious is to inject soft, pastel shades into your design scheme to keep the room warm and inviting – check out our ideas for living room colour schemes for more inspiration.

Want more small living room ideas and inspiration? READ: Living room colour schemes brimming with character

Take a look at these small living room ideas to get you started.

1. Swap your sofa for a snuggler


Image credit: TI Media

A bulky sofa can gobble up living room space quickly, so if you have an especially tiny room, ask yourself if you could manage with an equally comfy but far less invasive ‘snuggles’. Otherwise known as a 1.5 seater, it can easily accommodate a parent and child – or a cuddly couple.

This room also employs another neat trick that’s genius for small rooms that back onto gardens – a botanical decorating scheme. ‘Pretty florals are perfect for blurring the lines between indoors and outdoors,’ says our Senior Features Editor Stephanie Durrant. Creating this visual link will draw the eye outside and again make the rom feel bigger.

2. Avoid a corridor effect with a corner sofa

Image credit: David Giles

This reception room is quite long and thin, and previously the owners had a long dark sofa, which only added to the corridor effect. By swapping it for a pale L-shaped design, they’ve created a cosy corner and opened up the space. There’s now also room for more seating by way of large floor cushions.

3. Use stools as seats

small living room ideas

Image credit: Robert Sanderson

The first thing you should never do if you have a small living room is cram in too much furniture. Instead, choose a sofa that’s proportional to the size of the space, and if you’re still in need of more seating, use stools. They’ll take up far less room than bulky armchairs, and can be easily manoeuvred. If you like your living room cute and cosy, try clustering colour-co-ordinated objects together – from pictures to cushions – to create a coherent look.

Make the most of natural light in the room by keeping window dressings simple. If you are lucky enough to have high ceilings, full-length curtains are a good choice as they’ll draw the eye upwards and create the illusion of space, even if the square footage in your living room is a bit meagre. Subtle stripe designs add to the feeling of extra depth. If you do choose curtains, make sure they can be swept away from the window for light or alternatively go for Roman or roller blinds.

4. Invest in multi-functional furniture

small living room ideas

Image credit: Lizzie Orme

When it comes to small living rooms, hard-working, multi-functional pieces of furniture are your friends. Take this coffee table, which doubles as a storage bin, allowing you to clear away any clutter at a moment’s notice. You could also invest in lidded stools, or even a sofa with storage under the seat. Add wall mirrors and furniture with reflective surfaces into your design scheme to maximise the amount of natural light in your living room to make it feel bigger and brighter.

Get the look:
Buy now: Bert White Storage Coffee Table With Removable Lid, £130, Habitat

5. Draw attention away from the door

small living room ideas

Image credit: Polly Eltes

Whether it’s a bijou country cottage or a studio flat, it can be tricky to create a relaxing bolt hole when your front door opens straight into your living room. Take the emphasis away from the entrance by creating a focal point with thoughtfully arranged seating. Here, a neat two-seater and comfy armchair have been placed at a 90-degree angle to a slim side table and lamp.

A cool neutral palette works beautifully with the rustic plasterwork and the roller blind makes the most of a recessed window to add extra square inches to the room.

6. Decorate vertically

small living room ideas

Image credit: Paul Raeside

Think about living room wallpaper designs to complement your lounge. Take that décor up high when floor space is limited. Here, a small corner of a brilliant white room has been transformed with a column of geometric pattern that pulls the eye upwards to make the most of a high ceiling.

The pattern is echoed at the window in a sheer voile, which allows the natural light to filter in for a clean and bright effect. The neat base of a marble floor lamp negates the need for a side table while providing great task lighting for when the sun sets.

7. Pare it back with wood

small living room ideas

Image credit: David Brittain

Think about alternatives to traditional living room furniture, such as the three-piece suite. It’s still possible to have a cosy area for relaxing and reading with less space-greedy furnishings. Swap an upholstered armchair for a wooden rocker with cushions; and bookcases for slimline ladder-style shelving. Wash walls and accessorise with subtle colour.

8. Pop an L-shaped sofa into a tight space

small living room ideas

Image credit: Brent Darby

Before decorating or furnishing an awkwardly shaped living room consider how best to optimise the space available. Think about an L-shaped sofa in a tight eaves space teamed with trunks that can function as coffee tables as well as handy storage. Keep a dark room white to make the most of what little light there is.

Hide an unsightly set: 10 Ways to disguise your TV

9. Factor in textural pieces

small living room ideas

Image credit: Brent Darby

Decorating with white on walls, ceiling and floor can leave a space feeling clinical and stark. Take the chill off a compact nook with a homely leather armchair, red floor lamp and woollen rug – all circled around a log-filled fireplace. A tactile cushion and soft throw in viridian green add a final designer touch.

10. Use lighting to your advantage

small living room ideas

Image credit: James Merrell

Mark out a living space with an overhanging pendant light and carefully positioned round coffee table. The two pieces work together to create a focal point around which you can sit a couple of chairs and add floor cushions or stools when guests visit. Here, a selection of accessories and books are displayed on industrial-style open shelving to create a relaxed feel without hiding the beautiful texture of a slate feature wall.

11. Show off interesting objects

small living room ideas

Image credit: Lizzie Orme

Just because your living room is verging on the small side, it doesn’t mean that you should hide away all your favourite belongings in storage. If you have objects that are worthy of showing off then display them along an open shelf, above the sofa. This idea is great for when floor space is at a premium.

12. Place your pattern to create a theme

small living room ideas

Image credit: David Brittain

Pattern can work as well in small living rooms as it does in large, but it pays to think carefully about where you put it. Wool fabrics are made for cosy country-style firesides, but keep tartans, checks, paisleys and florals confined to throws and cushions on sofas and armchairs, leaving walls for plain paint finishes. Add a natural flooring rug to bring the two sides of a room together.

13. Distract the eye with characterful furnishings

small living room ideas

Image credit: David Brittain

While banishing clutter might help a smaller living room feel more open, if you’re a fan of the cosy, lived-in look such a pared back scheme will do little for you. But small doesn’t have to mean bare and characterless. Try the classic combination of dark leather armchair and traditional fireplace – there’s nothing like it for creating a warm, cosy environment. Add much-loved items and accessories – in an interesting, character-filled scheme, no one will be thinking about how small the room is.

14. Make the most of the space under the stairs

small living room ideas

Image credit: Jamie Mason

Make the most of the unused space under the stairs by incorporating everything from storage to quirky accessories. If you have space issues in your small abode and need to make the most of every nook and cranny then turn to that nimble spot under the stairs into a warm and cosy living space. Here, a built-in bookcase and sofa tucks in neatly in that often unloved and underused area.

15. Work with original features

small living room ideas

Image credit: Colin Poole

Give architectural features a modern update with a fresh coat of paint and light retouching. Here original features have been painted to give this living room a modern edge. The black fireplace remains the focal point, and adds a sense of cosiness along with the chunky sofa and rustic wooden coffee table. A wool rug brings texture to the scheme and enhances the inviting feel of the room.

16. Maximise storage potential

small living room ideas

Image credit: David Giles

Small living rooms need to be kept fresh and uncluttered with well-chosen storage. A great way to make a small living room feel larger is to keep it meticulously tidy and in order to do that, everything in the room needs to have its proper place. Floating shelves are perfect for small rooms because they can hold a lot of things on a wall or in alcoves, or choose bespoke fitted, floor-to-ceiling shelves and cupboards that make use of every inch of spare space.

Does your storage need an overhaul? READ: Living room storage ideas to bring order to your space

Will you be incorporating any of these small living room ideas into your scheme? Make the most of a compact home with these clever room brightening and space-saving decorating tips for small rooms.

The post Small living room ideas – how to decorate a cosy and compact sitting room, snug or lounge appeared first on Ideal Home.

51 Home Workspace Designs With Ideas, Tips And Accessories To Help You Design Yours

Sourced content from:

Home offices are as much a part of the modern home as formal dining rooms these days – in fact, many of us repurpose underused dining areas as workspaces! A home office can be set up within almost any room. Small study areas in bedrooms are commonplace, double workspaces pop up in living rooms to accommodate demand, and even the kitchen often has more than one kind of ‘worktop’. Once you’ve found a good spot, what about the colour scheme, desk design, chair style, shelving needs, and storage furniture to keep the whole thing neat and tidy enough to live with full time? Here are 51 of our favourite workspace designs to get you started.

Visualizer: ZAN Studio  

Invigorate your working mind with a bright and welcoming colour. If you want your workspace to be inviting (and we all no that feeling of being repelled by a boring looking desk) then lay out the welcome mat, so to speak. Whack on a welcoming colour like this bright sunshine yellow to chase away a Monday morning feeling of gloom.

Visualizer: LIS Design Studio  

Carve out a section of your room using colour coordination. In this bedroom, a storage cupboard, shelving unit, desk and wall paint are colour matched to define a royal blue home workspace. One thin wood trim around a shelf cubby complements the Scandinavian style chair, which is the Hans Wegner Elbow chair.

Visualizer: Mockup Render  

Define the workspace with a wood wall panel. This wood slat wall panel provides a textured backdrop behind a white desk, and the natural tone works beautifully with the sage green room decor.

Visualizer: Wertikal Company  

Reap the rewards of repositional small shelves by installing a pegboard. The pegboard trend can be utilised in plenty of areas in the home, but is particularly useful in a busy workspace with changing needs.

Designer: 曾 順勝  

Screen off noise without blocking off the visual. If you don’t like the idea of being holed away from family life when in the home office, then how about a glass dividing wall? Screen out excess noise and even cooking smells (if that’s your work domain) but remain part of the action. White decor, a minimalist desk and a slender led desk lamp keeps the work stuff paled into the background.

Visualizer: Home Cult  

Factor in sound proofing. This workspace of a blogger features acoustic wall panels. Whether it’s to keep house noise out, or office noise in, think ahead and make it part of the decor.

Visualizer: RESPIX TEAM  

Use office storage furniture to shape the room layout. This arrangement of low cabinetry splits the room into a work area and a lounge.

Visualizer: Denis Karandiuk  

Work with what you’ve got. If you’ve already got exposed brick walls or a raw concrete, go with the flow and create an industrial home office.

Source: Apple  

Make use of an unused alcove. Use custom cuts of timber or MDF to fashion a desk top and shelves inside a small alcove. Bring it out of the shadows with a designer table lamp, like this Menu JWDA lamp.

Visualizer: Stanislav Ananev  

Aligned pendant lights aren’t just for breakfast bars. Hang a row of small pendants along the length of your desk to give it some status – as well as ample illumination no matter where you pull in your chair.

Visualizer: Daniel Reuterswärd  

Don’t forget about the down time. Everyone needs a moment to mull something over during their working day, or even just a moment to rest their back after too long in the chair. Consider including a small sofa or comfortable lounge chair in the layout.

Visualizer: Adán Martín  

Leave room for adjustment. This Scandinavian workspace is built out of an adjustable shelf and storage unit.

Visualizer: Jonathan Nicholson  

Put yourself in a spin. If you’re up and down from your desk a lot, choose a swivel chair. It will prevent you from twisting your back – and scraping your floor.

Visualizer: Eke Interior  

Jazz up a minimalist home office with controlled colour. If you like the clean look of an all white home office but need a little colour in your life too, introduce some colourful storage cubbies into the cabinetry.

Visualizer: Angel black  

Pep up an existing plain home workspace with a unique desk chair.

Visualizer: Home Cult  

Want your home workspace to meld more with the room? Colour match all office furniture and shelving with the wall paint colour. This home office features a stripe of mirror behind the desk to reflect the rest of the room decor too. LED strip lights illuminate the edge of the glass and a Rosendahl monkey.

Visualizer: Martins Architect  

How about a headboard desk? This desktop extends straight out of the bed, with space beneath for a shiny trash can.

Visualizer: Tracy Ong  

Another, combo design: this desk build also serves as a tv wall on the back.

Visualizer: One work Design  

Got a lot of literature? Get a lot of shelves: Don’t kid yourself when it comes to storage needs, you’ll only wind up with paper mountains on the floor.

Visualizer: ZARYSY  

Build bespoke storage up to the rafters, like the sloping cupboards above this neat double workspace.

Designer: Denrakaev  
Photographer: Andrey Avdeenko  

Match office furniture to other pieces in the room. This desk and office storage ties in smoothly with the tv wall decor next to it.

Visualizer: Kupinskiy architects  

Use texture to add interest to a single hued set up.

Visualizer: Daniyar Gaynullin  

LED strip lights can be used to create ambiance and drama.

Visualizer: Joy Chen  

Bring in greenery to liven up a stagnant scheme.

Visualizer: Oly Stingel  

Larger indoor plants can soften the edges of a sharp layout too.

Visualizer: MARRA GROUP  

Got leftover tongue and groove flooring? Get into the wooden wall groove.

Visualizer: Altkat Architectural Photography  

Maximise work area with an L-shaped desk. This curved corner design creates an easy flow around the perimeter of the room.

Visualizer: Art Group by Vasilkova Daria  

This extended desk design even wraps around a corner, peeping into an adjacent sleep space.

Visualizer: Art Group by Vasilkova Daria  

Make your creative space POP. Pop art wall decor and colours combine to make this study area and drawing desk into one inspirational space.

Visualizer: Pixel Verse MX  

Nothing feels quite so inspirational as green spaces. If you can, build your home workspace in front of a window with a garden view, incorporate a courtyard or indoor vertical garden, or even bring in a nature themed wall mural.

Visualizer: Art Group by Vasilkova Daria  

Add a little whimsy with decals.

Visualizer: Art Group by Vasilkova Daria  

Create a work ‘block’. This wood cladding covers the wall, ceiling and side shelves of the work area. A couple of indoor plants break up the solid wood tone with a flash of green.

Visualizer: Z River Studio  

Be the same but different! Double workspaces don’t have to be one style fits all. Make each work area suit the individual user by considering different storage needs and preferred lighting levels.

Visualizer: Art Group by Vasilkova Daria  

Procure an artful gallery wall…

Visualizer: Shubochkini Architects  

… Or a display of treasured items.

Visualizer: Paweł Biskup  

Build up overlapping layers, like this office storage unit, desk and shelving arrangement.

Visualizer: Daniyar Gaynullin  

Unexpected elements and colour create a fun work environment that you’ll enjoy coming back to.

Visualizer: Jonathan Nicholson  

Be inspired by decor through the ages. This mid century modern style workspace has a refreshingly quirky kind of sophistication. The mid century modern clock is the Vitra George Nelson Night Clock.

Designer: Anastasia Voloshina  
Visualizer: Irina Rybnikova  

An all out traditional decor style evokes a sense of grandeur. In this traditional home office design, the classic desk is flanked by quaint wall sconces on either side.

Visualizer: VizLine Studio  

If there’s not room on the desk for sufficient greenery and its revitalising effects, employ a smart plant stand by the desk.

Visualizer: Angelina T  

Make room for a friends. This may be primarily a one person place, but an extra pouf tucked away neatly below the desk top provides a perch for anyone with a helpful idea or two.

Visualizer: Javier Winstein  

Think outside the box-shape. Bespoke cabinets can take on any silhouette, from curvaceous to quirky, like this stepped little number.

Visualizer: Thao Uyen  

Set the scene. Kids workspaces are pretty essential these days with the amount of homework continually rising. If they’ve got a dedicated, comfortable and attractive area in which to do their work, it may be easier to persuade them to crack those books.

Designer: Nika Vorotyntseva   
Photographer: Sergey Savchenko  

Don’t want your study area to be attention grabbing? Keep the design minimalist with hidden recessed shelves, a slimline desk and a low backed chair.

Visualizer: Trần Vấn  

Break up a long expanse of wall with contrasting bookcases, like the two-tone shelving unit in this large home office space.

Visualizer: Nefeli Kallianou  

Ditch the sticky notes. Book ledges can be used to hold reference books open at their most inspiring parts.

Visualizer: Roy Fredy  

Easily distracted? Keep the location and the decor quiet to aid concentration.

Visualizer: Angel black  

Home from home. Office shelving doesn’t have to be all packed out with overstuffed files, paper trays and pen pots. Arrange framed artwork, decorative vases and keepsakes on the shelves in your study to help it feel more like part of the home.

Visualizer: Kanstantsin Remez  

Include plenty of lighting. Directional spotlights put the light source right where it’s needed.

Visualizer: Zrobym  

Castors provide moveable solutions. It’s not just office chairs that cruise on wheels, slide out drawers provide and extra work surface when needed, whilst a pull out PC tower offers easy access to wiring at the back and an easy clean solution.

Visualizer: Daniyar Gaynullin  

Drape with drama. Whether you’re a big boss or not, you are the boss at home. Design yourself a dramatic room where you can reign supreme.

1. Herman Miller Embody Chair
2. Herman Miller Aeron Chair
3. Steelcase Gesture Chair
4. Drawer Cabinet With Casters
5. Artemide Tizio Desk Lamp
6. Minimalist Floating Desk
7. Floating Wall Shelves
8. Modern Computer Desk
9. Dual Tone Rolling Cabinet

Recommended Reading: 
50 Modern Home Office Desks
30 Stylish Home Office Desk Chairs
50 Modern Home Office Design Ideas

Related Posts:

Porch Swings and the Paths of the Seas

Sourced content from:

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place- what is mankind that you are mindful of them? Human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You…

Read More

The post Porch Swings and the Paths of the Seas appeared first on The Lettered Cottage.

Join Me in My Quest to Resuscitate Avocado Decor

Sourced content from:

Amidst all the period revivals currently happening in the interior design world (Art Deco! Memphis Design!), one stands out as being perhaps the most pervasive: The comeback of the ‘70s. We’ve seen it in furniture, with tubular pieces and swivel chairs taking hold of the market. The retro style is alive and well in the materials we love, too—just look at all the contemporary takes on rattan. However, there’s one area of the decade that remains relatively unexplored in decor, and that’s color. We can’t look back at the 1970s without remembering the avocado green trend; and while the controversial hue definitely has its critics, we think it’s ripe for a renaissance.

The color green in general is enjoying a moment in the spotlight. This may be due to its range: On one end of the spectrum, emerald green is a luxurious, deep shade that instantly imbues sophistication into any room. On the other end sits lime green, a zesty hue perfect for warmer weather and beloved by the creative community at large. Fashion designers Ashish and Jeremy Scott both put the vibrant color at the forefront of their spring collections.

What’s missing is something in between—an earthy green that’s both elevated and light. This is where avocado green comes in. A critic might disparagingly call the shade “puke green”, but we here at Domino choose to remain positive in fully embracing this retro color.

imagePin It
Photography by Cody Guilfoyle

This is made substantially easier by the fact that there happens to be such a cool array of avocado green decor ideas on the market right now. From cool ceramics to sculptural light fixtures, these pieces are proof that you can give an old trend a contemporary twist to great success. Need some convincing? Shop our edit of stylish avocado green products.

To light up your space

For the avocado skeptics: Tiptoe into the color trend with a sculptural mid-century inspired light fixture that features ombre shades of green. Breaking up the bold hue makes it more digestible. This Danish-designed piece would look stunning hanging over your breakfast nook or dining room table.

To bring charm to your living room

Picked up at a market in Lyon, France, this vintage piece perfectly encapsulates the vibe of the ’70s with its cushy material and fringe detailing. Place it in your living room or office for a cozy vignette.

To test the waters

Another way to slip gradually into the avocado green trend is by finding an item that features it in a small way—like this watercolor-effect porcelain vase. With only a tiny hint of green at the bottom, it’ll be the perfect complement to your spring blooms.

To dress up your mantel

We love a good tapered candle. Effortlessly elegant and surprisingly fun to style (there are so many playful candlesticks to pick from), they’re the perfect finishing touch for a mantel or coffee table. These slick handmade candles would look great with a contemporary brass holder.

To bring a natural touch to your space

Whether filled with greenery, dried florals, or fresh blooms, this speckled vase is a gorgeous accent piece. It even works left empty as a sculptural object.

To actually bring back a hint of the ’70s

When paying homage to a bygone era, sometimes the best thing to do is actually buy something that was built in said era. Etsy is a treasure trove of cool vintage finds and has no shortage of avocado green pieces. We’re loving this set of federal glass dessert bowls, which will look just as great in your kitchen’s open shelving as they would on your tablescape.

To get you excited about cleaning

To make cleaning less of a draining chore, this chic dustpan comes with a wooden brush and is possibly one of the most sophisticated cleaning supplies we’ve ever seen.

To liven up your tablescape

Tablecloths and placemats get all the credit, but sometimes, even the smallest parts of a tablescape can make the biggest impact. This napkin set will add a refreshing pop of color to your table—plus, the linen material is perfect for warm weather fetes.

To dress up your nightstand

This Insta-famous shell ceramic has gone viral for a reason: It’s the perfect blend of delightfully kitsch and actually chic. The muted avocado green hue is especially pretty. Try it out on your nightstand as a place to hold your jewelry or other trinkets.

See more color trends:
Klein Blue Is the Color Du Jour—But What Exactly Is It?  
Lime Green Is the Ultimate Color Underdog of 2019
Would You Try Ombre Floors?