November 22, 2017

What's cooking in our kitchens

Monday, April 7, 2014

Features found in the hot kitchens

By Pablo Toledo
For the Herald

Simple, clean and minimal.

Contemporary kitchen design is in for 2014, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association's latest style report. The association asked 420 designers what they predict homeowners will want in their kitchens this year. The resounding (1) answer was a space with less ornamentation, simple style and neutral colors. Designers also say useful features (2) that blend in seamlessly (3) (*) with the design (such as pull-out and touch-activated faucets) are more in demand than ever.

Here is a roundup of what to expect this year.

— Style: 62 percent of designers said contemporary will be the fastest-growing kitchen style in 2014.

— Colour scheme: Nearly three-quarters of respondents said gray will dominate. Whites and off-whites (4) will remain popular, however, and were the dominant colours designers saw in kitchens last year.

— Cabinets: White was No. 1 in 2013, but many designers believe its reign is over. Expect darker woods to grow in popularity this year. Glass doors will continue to be popular.

— Countertops: 70 percent of designers see quartz growing in popularity, topping granite.

Backsplashes (5): Glass, already a widely used backsplash material, is expected to grow even more popular.

— Flooring: Wood is expected to continue to be the No. 1 flooring material in 2014. Ceramic/porcelain tile came in second.

— Sinks: Stainless steel was No. 1 last year, but expect to see more composite granite. Composite granite uses a mix of granite stone dust and acrylic resins. Speaking of sinks, pull-out faucets continue to be popular, with touch-activated faucets becoming more common.

Appliances (6): Designers expect to see more microwave drawers in 2014.

By Margaret Ely, The Washington Post.


Something resounding is very loud and goes on for a long time. This adjective is also typically found in combination with nouns like victory, triumph, success, defeat, etc.

Feature (2)

In this context, a feature is an important and typical part of something (in this case, things like faucets, sinks or countertops which are essential in any kitchen). In a person, the features describe either characteristics of their personality or a part of their faces (like their mouth, nose, etc.).


When something happens seamlessly, it changes from one state to another without any pauses, gaps of noticeable transitions.


Off-white is a very pale, yellowish colour that is almost (but not precisely) white.


A backsplash (or splashback in the UK – wow these differences can be tricky!) is a panel behind a sink or cooker in a kitchen that protects the wall from splashes.

Appliances (6)

An appliance is a machine that does a particular job in the home – typically things like preparing food (blenders, ovens), cleaning (vacuum cleaners), heating (stoves, radiators), etc.

The word machine(*)

The word “seamlessly” is interesting because it seamlessly integrates three parts. It all starts with the noun “seam,” which describes the line where two pieces of cloth are sewn or stitched together.

Then, we add the suffix “-less” and turn it into a negative adjective: something is seamless when it does not have a seam. Notice how “-less” does two things at once, changing the meaning of the word from positive to negative and the part of speech from a noun into an adjective – four letters get a lot of work done, huh?

We round it off with another suffix, “-ly.” This old friend does one job very well (and very often), as it turns adjectives (which can modify nouns) into adverbs of manner (which can modify verbs) – so a transition is seamless, but things blend seamlessly, which is what the writer needed for her phrase.

And all this to bring your attention to the mechanisms that we use to multiply words and make them say and do what we need. Ain't language grand?


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