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November 17th, 2015

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Tiling your kitchen can be a bit daunting – especially if you want to inject some character but don’t want to put off potential future buyers.

If you’re in the throes of fitting or designing a new kitchen, the chances are you’ve probably forked out a fortune on cupboards, appliances and a stylish sink. So it’s tempting to try to cut back on features such as tiles.

But they’ll actually be the key to your new kitchen’s whole look and feel.

Kitchen wall tiles not only look clean and cool but they’re practical, too – creating the perfect splash-back for your sink and hob.

And opting for quality kitchen floor tiles – from the simplest metro designs to intricate Moroccan patterns – can really add that wow factor to your cooking and entertaining space.

 

1. Should I go for a patterned tile? And if so, how do I choose one?

Moroccan and Moorish designs have a timeless appeal so they’re equally at home in contemporary and more traditional kitchens, making them a fail-safe buy.

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2. How do I choose a colour for my kitchen tiles?

It’s difficult to go wrong with blue and white patterns, since they’re such a classic combination – and they have a particularly fresh feel that’s perfect for kitchens.

 

 

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3. Where do I start with shaped kitchen tiles?

If you’re slightly unsure about opting for patterned tiles, then shaped tiles – for example, hexagonal or Arabesque designs – are a really good compromise, since you can use them to create beautifully subtle, easy-to-live-with patterns.

Another option is to create a decorative effect by using metro-style tiles in eye-catching designs such as a herringbone layout.

 

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4. What are the most common mistakes people make when tiling a kitchen?

Always think about scale, since a little pattern can go a long way, particularly in a compact kitchen. Avoid designs that are too ‘busy’ since they’ll make the kitchen look smaller than it is.

Similarly, a combination of decorative walls and floors might have the effect of making a kitchen look somewhat crowded.

 

5. Can patterned floor and wall tiles put off potential buyers?

If you’re thinking of appealing to a wide range of buyers, it’s probably safer to opt for either a patterned wall OR a patterned floor.

You could then always use a border of the tiles to echo the patterned wall (or floor), giving the scheme a pulled-together yet balanced feel.

 

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6. I’d love to use kitchen tiles with a bold pattern, but worry that they might not appeal to buyers.

If you’ve fallen in love with some really vibrant, ornate tiles that you suspect might not be for everyone, you could always use them to create a splashback, rather than tiling the entire kitchen.

That way, you’ll be able to enjoy the tiles, and potential buyers won’t feel daunted by them – since they’ll be relatively quick and inexpensive to replace.

November 11th, 2015

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Sharpen your kitchen knowledge and throw away these old cooking myths!

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While learning tried and tested cooking techniques is necessary to gain kitchen skills, some tips passed on from generations are outdated and no longer hold true. Find out what these are below:

 

MYTH: Sear the meat so that moisture is sealed in.

Many chefs recommend searing meat to keep its juice intact so steaks come out moist and flavorful. However, based on an experiment done by food scientist Harold McGee and Food Network chef Alton Brown, searing meat actually takes the moisture out, according to Cook Think. When done wrong, the meat ends up tougher and harder to chew, so it’s best to no longer follow this cooking tip.

 

MYTH: Alcohol evaporates during cooking, so you can’t actually get drunk.

The belief is that foods that contain ingredients like vodka, red wine, or rum, should be stripped of its alcohol content during the cooking process. Not quite. It’s all depends on how the food was cooked. In reality, over 85 percent of alcohol remains in the food after cooking, according to Ochef.

 

MYTH: Microwaving food takes away its nutrients.

The truth is: cooking food in microwave is no different than doing so on a stove top. Microwave cooking actually does the opposite and preserve vitamins and minerals found in food, according to CNN. This is because it involves shorter cooking time and less heat, which causes less damage when breaking down the nutrients.

“The best cooking method for retaining nutrients is one that cooks quickly, exposes food to heat for the smallest amount of time and uses only a minimal amount of liquid,” said food scientist Catherine Adams Hutt in the CNN report.

 

MYTH: Cool food before putting it in the fridge.

There’s a valid point for doing this, but it’s more because food that’s piping hot can make the fridge work double time, and not because the change in temperature can spoil the food a lot quicker. However, food shouldn’t be left at room temperature longer than two hours because microorganisms can build up and spoil it, according to ServSafe, the guidelines followed by the National Restaurant Association. To quickly let food cool down, it’s best to divide contents into smaller containers.

 

MYTH: Add oil in pasta and then rinse in cold water after it’s cooked.

Oil supposedly keeps the noodles from clumping together, while the cold water supposedly stops the cooking process so that the pasta doesn’t become soggy. But oil does not prevent clumping – rather the occasional stirring of the pasta in boiling water does – according to Ask Men. Rinsing pasta in cold water after boiling also does nothing but keep the sauce from adhering to the pasta better, according to Lifehack.

 

November 6th, 2015

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November 5th, 2015

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