Kitchens for the Holidays


If there is anything 2020 has taught many of us, is to be home cooks. The holidays are a perfect time to prepare and show off those homemade, tasty meals with the ones you love.

We’ve gathered a list of lovely kitchens ready to take on any festive occasion.

5300 Deloache Avenue | Preston Hollow | $3,150,000

2906 Shadow Drive W | Arlington | $2,700,000

7406 Kenshire Lane | Dallas | $2,099,000

11040 Lawnhaven Road | Dallas | $1,949,500

837 Dewberry Lane | Fairview | $1,715,000

2805 Greenhill Drive | Plano | $1,040,000

3904 Dove Creek Lane | Plano | $849,000

1630 Ashington Trail | Farmers Branch | $589,000

722 Huntley Street | Dallas | $575,000

10617 Mccree Road | Lake Highlands | $439,900

For more spectacular properties, visit ebby.com.

Kitchens Ready for Back-to-School


Getting ready for the new school year looks different for many families this fall. Whether classes are virtual or in-person, one priority is making sure the kids take on every school day with a good meal. That means having the perfect kitchen space for breakfast, lunch, snack time and dinner.

Streamline your back-to-school routine with these 13 delectable kitchens.

Elegant kitchen at 3909 Centenary Avenue in University Park, TX

3909 Centenary Avenue | University Park | $3,750,000

Contemporary kitchen at 6230 Pool Road in Colleyville, TX

6230 Pool Road | Colleyville | $2,950,000

Gourmet kitchen at 414 Lakeway Drive in Allen, TX

414 Lakeway Drive | Allen | $2,795,000

Luxurious kitchen at 901 Charleston Drive in Southlake, TX

901 Charleston Drive | Southlake | $1,995,900

Large kitchen at 4901 Buena Vista Drive in Frisco, TX

4901 Buena Vista Drive | Frisco | $1,775,000

Gorgeous kitchen at 646 Castle Rock Drive in Southlake, TX

646 Castle Rock Drive | Southlake | $1,265,000

Beautiful chef's kitchen at 323 Oxford Place in Coppell, TX

323 Oxford Place | Coppell | $900,000

Spacious kitchen at 461 Longwood Drive in Prosper, TX

461 Longwood Drive | Prosper | $799,900

Bright island kitchen at 1600 Booker Lane in Plano, TX

1600 Booker Lane | Plano | $599,000

Stunning modern kitchen at 4197 Lorion Drive in Rockwall, TX

4197 Lorion Drive | Rockwall | $590,000

Updated kitchen at 8501 Forsythia Drive in McKinney, TX

8501 Forsythia Drive | McKinney | $475,000

Charming kitchen at 6306 Montgomery Drive in Rowlett, TX

6306 Montgomery Drive | Rowlett | $460,000

Lovely kitchen at 113 Poppy Lane in McKinney, TX

113 Poppy Lane | McKinney | $379,000

To view more spectacular properties, visit ebby.com.

How to Work With a Professional Organizer


By: Alison Hogdson
 
My friend Jane is one of those peculiar people who gets energy from pulling order out of chaos. She owns and runs a bed-and-breakfast in her home, a hundred-year-old Georgian mansion. Her kitchen is a wonder of organization; even her label maker is labeled. After we completely remodeled our kitchen, I told her I would love her expert help in organizing it, but it was only years later, after my epiphany about decluttering, that we actually made it happen.
 
My kitchen wasn’t even in terrible shape. The counters were clear, there wasn’t a ton of clutter, and I actually had some systems in place, but I knew Jane would help me maximize the space. Eleven hours later, the kitchen was completely reorganized, as was the tiny pantry and small linen closet down the hall as well as my bathroom vanity, because this led to that and that and that.
 
At the end of the day, I was exhausted, but I knew I never wanted to even consider organizing a room without Jane leading the charge. She was a force of nature, but effective. After that we went room by room, every few weeks or so, decluttering and reorganizing until the day my house burned down.
 
Jane and I couldn’t be any different if we tried, but we worked well together for a variety of reasons. Here are the qualities I recommend looking for in a gifted friend or professional organizer.
 

The organizer “gets” you. Jane is a reader and has a huge personal library, so I knew she wouldn’t fight me about my books. Her butler’s pantry is larger than many kitchens and is filled with crystal, glass and china. She loves antiques and understands sentimental attachment to things, so there again I knew she wouldn’t pressure me to get rid of everything, but help me to prioritize and organize.
 
Indefatigable energy. Decluttering is exhausting work, physically and mentally. As I said before, some people get energy from pulling order out of chaos, and this is a nonnegotiable. There will be moments (hours!) when you want to crawl into the fetal position because the job is so overwhelming, but this is just when a naturally organized person is getting fired up and gaining momentum.
 
A sense of humor. This is for all parties involved. If there is ever a time you need to be able to laugh, it’s when you are knee deep in bags and boxes and the end of it all is nowhere in sight.
 
Creativity and flexibility. Jane’s passion is “systems,” which are personal routines that establish and maintain order. We had to find compromises between her suggestions for an ideal world and our day-to-day living as a family with several members not naturally organized — one of whom is me!
 
Basic respect and kindness. To put it delicately, Jane is not a social worker, and her attitude is often, “What is wrong with you?” — which isn’t always helpful. I came into decluttering with a healthy self image; I knew I was bringing many things to the table, but organizing was not one of them. I also knew that Jane cared about me and thought a lot of me in general. Mutual respect overall is imperative.
 

Just as important as finding a good fit with a friend or professional is making sure you’re ready. Ask yourself a couple of questions:
 
Am I willing to try something new? If you meet every suggestion with, “That won’t work,” you aren’t going to benefit from the other person’s wisdom. You may think you’re being practical, but it’s really a form of defensiveness. “Try it on,” as the life coaches say. Before you reject a new way of doing something, try to imagine how it could work and then refine it for you and your family if necessary.
 
Am I willing to get rid of a lot of stuff? Of course there are exceptions to this; you know who you are, and please carry on. But by and large, most of us have too much junk. It doesn’t matter how much you paid for it or how priceless it is, sentimentally speaking. If it’s covered with dust and stacked in a pile — and you are overwhelmed — you need to get rid of it or a lot of other things to create adequate space.
 
If you can’t emphatically answer yes to both these questions, it’s a sign you aren’t quite ready to get outside help. It is what it is; just don’t expect someone to help you rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic. It’s OK to be nervous and not quite sure you’re going to be able to get it all done. That’s normal. Recognizing you need help and being willing to ask for it is an enormous step.
 
In the beginning it may be stressful. You’ll be making a lot of decisions and may be feeling ashamed of the condition of things. This should pass. As you gain momentum you should feel hopeful, more confident and even excited. If the tension is only increasing, this is a sign that the person helping you isn’t a good fit or, again, you just aren’t ready yet.
 

Special tip: if you can possibly avoid it, pick a helper other than a person to whom you gave birth or who gave birth to you. The dynamic between parent and child when one is neat and organized and one is … not can be very trying.
 
Hire a professional or call on a friend and, unless it’s a dire emergency, leave your parents or your children out of it, other than to put dibs on family heirlooms.
 
Related Links:
Organize the Clutter With New Storage Cabinets

Don’t Forget to Clear the Pantry
Get Started With Professional Organizers Today

11 Tips for Organizing Your Kitchen


By: Hannah Young
 
Give your kitchen a detox and declutter with some ideas that can be implemented annually, as well as habits that will help you out every day.
 

1. Clear your surfaces. Move everything off of your countertops and give them a thorough clean — then step back and enjoy the result. With this in mind, clean each item you’ve removed and think carefully about whether it deserves a place on display. Ideally, you will put back only items that are used on a daily basis.
 

2. Banish the paper. Do you struggle to find your bar counter when it’s time for before-dinner drinks? The mail, newspapers and magazines often land on the nearest flat surface and clutter up the space. A good solution is to hang magazine racks on a wall or to install a small basket nearby to keep everything contained. Try to book a weekly date in your calendar to sort, discard and respond.
 
3. Investigate the depths. Do you know what’s in your fridge and freezer, and how long it has been there? How about making this the year you use up all that extra food? Get into the habit of checking what you already have before you put together a meal plan for the week. Then, when you go shopping, you’ll know exactly what you need and be less likely to buy on impulse.
 
4. Give it away. Let’s be honest: Most of us have received a gift or two that we don’t really want. If it’s a seasonal item of food or drink, avoid letting it hang around and go stale, and instead give it to someone who will appreciate it more. Don’t be shy about regifting, as long as you make sure it’s into a different circle of friends!
 
5. Do the dishes daily. The humble dishwasher can make or break your day. Get into the habit of fully loading it in the evening and running it overnight. In the morning, you’ll be ready to go, as clean bowls and spoons can be put right on the table for breakfast.
 
Allocate cabinets near the dishwasher for dishes and glasses so that it’s easy to put everything away quickly. By clearing the dishwasher in the morning, you’ll have an empty area in which to put everything as you use it, ready for the next evening cycle.
 

 6. Plan a place for everything. This kitchen is pretty extreme in its stark lack of clutter, but there’s a lot to be said for precise planning when thinking about new cabinets. If you have a home for everything in a drawer or pullout, then there’s really no reason to leave much on the counter. Flat fronts and no handles also make this kitchen pretty quick to clean.

7. Make use of glass. Open shelves look great in a kitchen — it’s nice both aesthetically and practically to be able to see what you have. However, many people are put off by the dust and grease floating around. So why not consider installing cabinets with glass doors to give you the best of both worlds? This may even inspire you to declutter so that you can display the mugs and plates you love in a pleasing way, rather than cramming everything in.
 

8. Let it go. How many mugs do you have? If, like most of us, you have more than you’ll use at any one time, give yourself permission to get rid of some. It’s easy to fall into the trap of hanging on to an item too long just because it has become part of the kitchen.
 
Try to be objective as you look through your collections and send those you don’t need, don’t like or think are unsuitable to your local thrift shop. If you’re having trouble doing it on your own, enlist the help of a friend or find a professional.
 

9. Dig out the gadgets. Now is a great time to inspect those kitchen appliances lurking at the back of your cabinets and drawers. If you don’t think you’re going to use one, send it to a thrift shop or sell it on websites like eBay and Craigslist.
 
Gadgets you want to keep should be easy to access, so find a place for them on the counter or consider some nifty storage solutions. An appliance garage with outlets will keep things neatly behind closed doors and ready to go when needed.

10. Organize your cabinets. A top organizing tip for any space is to keep similar items in the same place. Arrange your pantry cabinets so that you have savory items (canned goods, pasta, grains) in one and sweet items (baking ingredients, cookies) in another. Maximize storage by outfitting cabinets with small shelves for items such as spices, and using shallow drawers or containers that can be pulled out from the back of deep cabinets.
 
11. Store items next to their point of use. Keep things where you use them. Think about all the items you require for a task. If you’re making a cup of tea, for example, how far do you move around your kitchen to gather together a mug, teabag, kettle, milk and teaspoon?
 
Try to think of your kitchen layout in terms of “stations” where you complete different tasks, then store the relevant items near each one. You’re more likely to put things away — and less likely to drop them — if they’re nearby.
 
 
Related Links:
Get Your Countertops Sparkling Clean
Bring a Small Mailbox Indoors to Organize Your Papers
Start Organizing Your Kitchen Cabinets Today

Spring Into Energy Savings


Cooking on a gas stove
 
Improving the energy efficiency of your home is not only great for the environment, but can also contribute to substantial savings in the long run. Here are some small changes you can make throughout your home to help lower your energy bills:
 
* Turn off the thermostat
When away from home, avoid keeping your thermostat on. When home, adjust it in small increments to reach your desired temperature. Even better, open windows and use ceiling fans or space heaters to cool or warm your home.
 
* Switch your light bulbs
Switch the lightbulbs in your home to more energy efficient ones (think CFL and LED bulbs). Not sure which ones to choose? Check out our helpful light bulb guide here.
 
* Clean and replace filters once a month
Clean filters allow systems to run more efficiently and for shorter periods of time.
 
* Keep a full refrigerator and freezer
A full refrigerator unit will operate the most properly and efficiently. On the other hand, be sure not to overcrowd it.
 
* Keep your oven and stovetop clean
Regularly cleaning your oven and stovetop will enable them to run more efficiently.
 
* Run your dishwasher when it’s full
Running your dishwasher for a full load every time is the most efficient use of the appliance. In addition, use the lowest temperature dry cycle if you prefer not to air-dry your dishes. Heated drying is not always needed and can even damage plasticware.
 
* Use power strips/surge protectors
Cords that remain plugged in while not in use still expend energy in standby mode. Feeding them all into a power strip makes it easier to switch them all off at once instead of keeping them on standby. In addition, it also protects your electronic devices from unsafe voltage spikes.
 
* Turn off lights
When leaving your home, turn off all lights. When at home, turn off lights in any room not being used.
 
* Mind the gaps
Check windows and doors for cracks, gaps, and openings. Replace broken glass, framing and caulk where necessary.
 
* Purchase wisely
When purchasing appliances such as computers and dishwashers, be on the lookout for the “Energy Star” logo denoting high-efficiency. Many newer appliances are required by the U.S. Department of Energy to be more efficient than older ones.

Which Kitchen Countertop is Right for You?


Considering a kitchen remodel? Not all countertops are created equally.

 

With so many options on the market, it can be hard to decide what countertop material is right for your kitchen. While it may be tempting to choose a countertop based on aesthetic alone, it’s important to consider the pros and cons, durability, cost, and maintenance before making a decision. That’s why we’ve created a list of some popular options as well as some need-to-know details about each.

 

GraniteKitchen CountertopOnce only found in high-end kitchens, granite has made its way to the heart of more and more homes. This durable, natural stone comes in a vast array of colors such as beige, black, brown, red, white, and green. Because of its porous nature, granite must be sealed on a yearly basis. Even when properly sealed, it’s important to wipe up oils, wines, acids, and sodas immediately, as well as use a stone cleaner for routine cleaning. Cost varies depending on color and complexity, but has become more affordable with granite’s increase in popularity.

 

QuartzKitchen CountertopQuartz, often resembling granite or marble, is an engineered mix of mineral and resin. This extremely durable, low-maintenance material is a great alternative for busy kitchens. Quartz is harder and less porous than granite, thus, it does not require sealing or polishing. It comes in a variety of colors and patterns and looks great in both traditional and contemporary kitchens. Quartz is scratch, stain, heat, and acid-resistant.

Note: Because quartz is manufactured, it doesn’t have natural color variations and vein. When shopping, looking at a small sample rather than a big slab will suffice.

 

MarbleKitchen CountertopMarble is a timeless and stunning option for a traditional or contemporary kitchen and is usually the most expensive option. Carrara and Calcatta marble are synonymous with luxury and instantly give your kitchen an elegant look. However, marble is very porous and has a high probability of becoming stained. If you choose marble, it’s important to seal it frequently and properly. Also be wary – chips and scratches may occur.

 

WoodKitchen CountertopThose opting for a warm, traditional cottage kitchen may gravitate toward butcher-block-style wood countertops. These countertops do require regular maintenance in order to maintain the wood’s natural beauty, so it’s recommended that you oil the surface with a mineral oil every four to six weeks. If not properly cared for, wood countertops will warp and crack. On the plus side, properly sealed wood countertops are sanitary and you can cut directly on the surface without damaging knives. Wood is also heat-resistant, which means you can place hot pots and pans directly on the surface.

 

TileKitchen CountertopTile countertops are a great choice if you want something inexpensive that’s easy to maintain. Tiles come in a variety of different colors and styles and may be mixed and matched. In addition, you can install tile yourself. Make sure to use tile that is rated for floors or countertops, as wall tile is too thin and will crack easily.

 

LaminateKitchen CountertopLaminate is perhaps the most cost-effective option available. Not only is it durable, it’s also low-maintenance. Laminate is a great selection for those on a budget or those who want to keep up with trends. Laminate comes in far more options than the familiar wood copycat – both neutral and bright colors are available. Laminate countertops are water resistant but susceptible to scratches and heat damage, so be sure to use cutting boards and trivets when preparing and serving food.

 

ConcreteKitchen CountertopConcrete counters are growing in popularity, as they are now available in a variety of stains and colors. Concrete is a suitable choice for those with a tight budget and interested in self-installation. Cast concrete counters are stain resistant when properly sealed, but may develop small cracks. If you’re a perfectionist, concrete counters may not be for you; even when professionally installed, minor inconsistencies in color and texture may occur.


Need even more guidance? Take the quiz below to find out what countertop material is best suited for your taste, budget, and lifestyle.


Are You Loading the Dishwasher the Right Way?


Are You Loading the Dishwasher the Right Way?

The task of loading dishes in the dishwasher is completed in the most common and centralized area of the house — the kitchen. Because of this, everyone in the household feels it’s necessary to jump in and declare the “right” way of going about the dreaded chore.

Trust us, we didn’t know there was a “right” way of loading your dishes in the dishwasher. But, we do know there are two kinds of people in this world:

 

a. someone who loads their dishwasher in an orderly way — almost like they’re playing Tetris

 

b. someone who dumps the dishes, turns the machine on and doesn’t worry another minute

 

Top appliance companies such as Bosch, Electrolux, LG, Whirlpool and Samsung say that many consumers have been loading their dishes in the same way since they were children. The thing is, dishwashers have come a long way. In fact, they offer more features than ever: sensors, specialized cycles, adjustable racks and more.

Because of this, it’s usually OK to just dump the dishes in, even without a pre-rinse. But if that one family member insists on organizing and doing things the right way (which isn’t a bad thing), below is how to do so:

 

  • If your dishwasher houses a third rack at the top, load your flatware and large utensils there — it frees up space at the bottom.

 

  • Load glass and plastic at the top. Here, water pressure and heat are less intense.

 

  • Always point knives down and do use the utensil basket.

 

  • You don’t have to pre-rinse. Studies have shown that pre-rinsing wastes more water than just allowing the dishwasher to do it’s thing. Don’t worry, appliance makers assure you your machine can handle it.

 

  • Go ahead and place those stainless-steel pans in there, but do avoid washing cast-iron.

 

  • Don’t always choose the ‘Normal’ cycle — there are different cycles for a reason. For example, a ‘Rinse Only’ cycle is perfect when you don’t have a full load yet. It rinses without detergent, keeps food from sticking to plates and washes away odors. A ‘Heavy Wash’ is designed for dishes with dried-on foods.

 

Now, go tackle those Fourth of July dishes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feature We Love: Farmhouse Sink


The farmhouse sink came onto the interior design scene a few years ago and it seems like it is here to stay. We are seeing them pop up in our listings’ kitchens more and more these days and we have to say, we are big fans.

 

Also referred to as an apron sink, this style is characterized by an exposed basin on the front, meaning it is not dropped into the counter like other sinks. This hot trend is most commonly seen in traditional white porcelain or modern stainless steel.

 

Take a look at the great ways in which these sinks add character and style to the kitchens currently on the market in DFW.

 

Feature We Love: Farmhouse Sink

^2224 Gatsby Way, CarrolltonFeature We Love: Farmhouse Sink

^5055 Addison Circle #705, AddisonFeature We Love: Farmhouse Sink

^9903 Coppedge Lane, DallasFeature We Love: Farmhouse Sink

^601 Isleworth Lane, McKinneyFeature We Love: Farmhouse Sink

^4432 N. Hall St., DallasFeature We Love: Farmhouse Sink

^2 Green Park Drive, DallasFeature We Love: Farmhouse Sink

^3508 Villanova St., University Park

Feature We Love: Glass Tile Backsplash


CM Glass Backsplash lg

One of the hottest trends in kitchen design today is an amazing backsplash. Gone are the days of boring paint and plaster. There are plenty of options out there, but one of our favorites is glass tile.

 

Many of our listings have taken to this designer trend in their kitchens. From basic white to a myriad of colors, glass tile brings a luminescence and shine to an otherwise forgotten space. These backsplashes don’t just look great, they’re easy to clean, too!

Feature We Love: Glass Tile Backsplash^1512 Pembroke Court, Keller

Feature We Love: Glass Tile Backsplash^5418 Deer Brook Road, Garland

Feature We Love: Glass Tile Backsplash^4818 Irvin Simmons Drive, Dallas

Feature We Love: Glass Tile Backsplash^7955 Enclave Drive, Dallas

Feature We Love: Glass Tile Backsplash^1131 Clermont St., Dallas

Kitchens with a Bright View


If you spend any considerable amount of time in the kitchen, you know how important the right lighting can be. Is the chicken cooked through? Is that bowl really clean? Did I get all the crumbs of the counter?

 

Equally as important as lighting in a kitchen is ambiance and space. Working in a dark, cramped kitchen can have a major effect on your cooking and how much you enjoy doing it. If you’re looking to get the right light and ambiance, it doesn’t get much better than a window (or two) above the kitchen sink. It brings in light, opens up the space visually, and allows you a view of the outdoors.

 

Check out the kitchens below and you’ll know exactly what we mean! Click on the links or pictures below to get more information (psst, they’re all for sale)!

Kitchens with a Bright View^2615 Winding Hollow Lane, Arlington

Kitchens with a Bright View^6215 Tremont St., Dallas

Kitchens with a Bright View^406 Monte Vista Drive, Dallas

Kitchens with a Bright View^1809 Trinidad Lane, Allen

Kitchens with a Bright View^6322 Desco Drive, Dallas

Kitchens with a Bright View^4048 Dunhaven Road, Dallas