A Guide to Buying Kitchen Worktops – Guest Post from Trade Up Kitchens

Our friend John Stuart over at Trade Up Kitchens – a UK-based kitchen supply company – has a guest post for us: “A Guide to Buying Kitchen Worktops.” For those of us in the US, a “kitchen worktop” is a counter top. Actually, “worktop” makes more sense, doesn’t it? In any event, here it is. I hope you enjoy it!

Buying Kitchen Worktops

Your choice of kitchen worktops will dramatically affect the whole aesthetic of your kitchen. Choosing your kitchen worktop is one aspect which should never be overlooked during the design process. Similar to your flooring, your kitchen worktops sit on a horizontal plane, making it a prominent feature in your kitchen.  With so many options available, choosing your kitchen worktop can seem like an impossible task but our guide is on hand to help you find the best option for you.

Granite Worktop
Photo – Trade Up Kitchens

Before choosing your kitchen worktop, it’s important to consider two things:

Your budget

Worktops come in a variety of materials, all at differing price points. Before you decide on a material for your kitchen worktop, it’s important to assess your budget – this will dramatically influence your choice of worktop.

Your lifestyle

If you’re choosing kitchen worktops for a student house or you’ve got a house full of children, then you’ll need to consider a sturdy, low-maintenance worktop. Alternatively, if you’re likely to clean up any spills immediately and don’t mind dedicating a little time to its maintenance, then you’ve got a few more options when it comes to kitchen worktops.  

After you’ve taken these two things into consideration, you’ve got to choose from the following kitchen worktops: Continue reading “A Guide to Buying Kitchen Worktops – Guest Post from Trade Up Kitchens”

The First Thing – Entryway Renovation – Hildring House

It’s the first thing you see when you come in the house – as a guest, that is. In this post, Debra talks about the entryway renovation at Hildring House. It has been through several iterations and, I have a feeling, isn’t done yet. But it’s miles better than it was. Here we go:


Let’s start with some entries that I admire:


At Hildring House, we enter from the back- our garage is in back, and we are lucky enough to have a small entry hall at the garage entrance… Someday I’ll show it to you, but, very much like the front entrance, it has gone through a lot of changes and I’ve not hit on the “perfect” arrangement as of yet. Today, I’m going to show you the many versions of the front entry. Continue reading “The First Thing – Entryway Renovation – Hildring House”

Hildring House Kitchen on DesignSponge!

Our (well, Debra’s) Hildring House kitchen is featured on Design Sponge’s Before and After. Go take a look!

Hildring House Kitchen
Photo by Amber Shumake

Just in case you missed the link, find it here.

And the adventures continue!

Best –


Hildring House – Mastering the Master Bedroom

Hildring House Master Bedroom

I’m pretty sure I did a post way back there somewhere about the sad state of our master bedroom…. and because this is real life (as opposed to HGTV) it is still in a ‘not ready for photos’ state. There has been progress, and I’ll show you some snippets and the “plan.” Keeping in mind that all “plans” are a moving target around here! Dan here – in italics, as usual – “plans” around here change right up until the minute you drive the nail. And sometimes after. But the results usually are so good that I really can’t complain.

Inspiration photos (not Hildring House)

Continue reading “Hildring House – Mastering the Master Bedroom”

2 Examples of Why Design Matters from Debra

Listening to Debra talk about some of her recent projects, I asked her to do another “Why Design Matters” post.  As usual, my comments will be in italics. Here it is:

I’ve done a couple of consultations recently that really made me happy and I’d love to share them with you:

Color Consultation

I finished an exterior color consultation last week for a dear friend.  She bought her darling little place 16 years ago and she has done a ton of work over the years … but she’s never been happy with the brick.

After a big hailstorm last year, she got a new roof. She chose black – and immediately hated it. The roof was lovely. The real problem was that it just didn’t work with the brick. So, she recently decided to take the plunge and paint the brick. Continue reading “2 Examples of Why Design Matters from Debra”