Design & Planning Kitchen
From space-saving designs to the latest in sophisticated style, our design tips are made with you and your dream kitchen in mind.
New Mom Makeover
As you begin thinking about starting a family, most parents-to-be think about how their lives will change when their new bundle of joy arrives; however there are many changes that should come much earlier. During pregnancy, there are many hidden dangers in your home – but luckily, you only have to alter your habits slightly to ensure a safe haven for you and your new arrival
29. Here Comes the Bride
Here Comes the Bride
While the fondue pot and ice cream maker seem like must-haves during bridal registry, ask yourself, "Will I really use these items on a regular basis?" You may want to reconsider your selections. And, although making a wedding gift wish list can be daunting, the following tips and product suggestions can keep you and your new bride- or groom-to-be happy for years to come.
Before you and your sweetheart start scanning items for your registry, do your homework. Consider the size of your space and where you will store your new items. If you're living in an apartment or smaller condominium, you may want to rethink registering for the super, deluxe-size barbecue grill. You'll be surprised how quickly your new gifts can fill up your space!
Next, think about your guest list. Make sure that you have a variety of items to choose from and at different price points – high and low – so guests can purchase items they feel reflect their own taste and that they can afford. Be sure to consider your out-of-town guests as well, by registering for items that are available both at nationwide locations and online, such as Macy's and Crate and Barrel, to help ensure they can access your registries from anywhere.
Kitchen & Bath Registry Ideas and Necessities
Now that the registry basics are covered, let the fun begin! Start with the rooms that you live in and use the most – the kitchen and bathroom.
Do you like to host dinner parties? Fine china should be on your list. According to theknot.com, crisp black-and-white dinnerware patterns are all the rage this season. Find something that will not only match your taste and décor, but also be a classic design for years to come.
Want to skip the china, but love to cook? Register for a complete collection of high-end cookware. Stores like Sur La Table offer cool cooking gadgets for the basic, well-stocked and gourmet kitchens alike.
In addition to registering for the mainstays in the kitchen, such as sterling silver flatware and crystal stemware, don't forget about everyday items like measuring cups and spoons, a kitchen scale, electronic timers or even a microwave oven. Or register at a home improvement store, like Lowe's, for other home necessities that you won't be able to add a department store.
Love a spa feeling and want to re-create it in your bathroom at home? Then don't settle for a plain, ordinary shower experience when you can create an invigorating one by registering for a new showerhead. Many new showerheads, such as the Nurture™ showerhead from Moen (available at Lowe's), offer multiple settings that suit any mood – "Relaxing" wide spray, "Invigorating" concentrated spray and "Refreshing" combination spray. Available in fixed and handheld versions, both feature a flow-optimized spray that uses up to 30 percent less water.
Continue to create your spa-like, romantic atmosphere by registering for luxury bath towels and high-thread-count sheets. Other items to consider, both extravagant and necessary, include: a down comforter, feather bed, pillows, alarm clock with dual alarms and a closet organizer.
Beyond the Registry
If you and your significant other are looking for adventure instead of objects, why not create memories instead? Family and friends can help purchase items including your airfare, honeymoon suite or candlelit dinners at your vacation destination on sites such as honeymoonwishes.com or thebigday.com. Register for horseback riding or scuba diving adventures for you and your sweetheart to have memories that will last a lifetime.
Before taking the big walk down the aisle, make sure you're prepared with necessities that will last long after saying "I do!"
30. What Shade of Green are You?
What Shade of Green Are You?
If you thought green was a trend primarily embraced by Gen X and Yers, think again. Information gathered by Moen Incorporated, the number one faucet brand in North America, and Iconoculture, a leading cultural trend research firm, indicates that rather than age; key values and financial status are the defining characteristics in determining consumers' levels of interest in green products.
"The research divided consumers into four primary groups, based on their level of eco-consciousness," said Jack Suvak, Moen's director of research. "Each group is very distinct – in terms of both interest in green and their key values."
Which shade of green are you?
The most eco-conscious of the four groups, Dark Greens are motivated by a sense of responsibility to the planet. Dark Greens come from all age groups, and tend to be from mid- to upper-economic levels. They are driven by products that are eco-friendly but effective; and they will not use products that sacrifice performance just to be green.
Examples of products that fulfill the wishes of Dark Greens are Moen's new environmentally responsible showerheads. The Envi™ and Nurture™ water-efficient showerheads each feature three settings and a flow rate of 1.75 gallons per minute (gpm) – using up to 30 percent less water than the industry standard 2.5 gpm. Best of all, both showerheads still provide consumers with a superior shower experience with full-body, high-performance coverage.
Key values for this group were identified as a belief in the green movement, a strong sense of community and personal pride.
The next green group, Medium Greens, has a heightened consciousness of green issues. A large contingent in this set consists of young parents concerned about protecting the Earth for their children and grandchildren, as well as protecting their families from toxins and other chemicals. Another significant sub-group within Medium Greens is affluent individuals interested in going green. With regard to purchasing drivers for Medium Greens, they will assess the value against the price point, and are motivated by products that make it easy for them to go green.
Key values of Medium Greens include hope, convenience and prevention.
"Green is the new cool" is the motto of the Light Green group, which primarily consists of twenty-something city dwellers, über-urbans and the emerging middle class. Many within this group embrace the eco-friendly movement because it's trendy and desire the status associated with green's chic factor. However, this group tends to be somewhat cost sensitive, so pricing is a critical factor in determining whether they buy green products. They tend to look for products that are eco-chic in design.
Key values for this group include thrift, practicality, self-expression and status.
The last group encompasses those individuals who aren't necessarily interested in the green movement… yet. Non-Greens are split between those that are newly affluent or income-challenged – so they tend to focus on green if it brings material gain and/or survival benefits. They will only buy green products if they carry the lowest cost.
Key values for the Non-Green group include stability, security, choice and entitlement.
"Greenvenience" is Key
Beyond the learnings of the four distinct green interest groups, Moen also gleaned information about consumers' green purchasing behavior. Most consumers felt there was an intrinsic value in going green, whether it comes from an interest in the planet or a desire for the status of going green. A few key highlights included:
• When consumers were asked, "If a retailer raised prices to be more environmentally friendly, would you pay more?" -- nearly 40 percent said they would.
• Consumers rated retailers in terms of location, prices, selection of products, customer service and a firm's environmental consciousness, and more than half (52 percent) rated a firm's eco-consciousness as "very" or "somewhat" important, compared to 32 percent who were neutral, and only 16 percent said this was not very important.
Ultimately, "greenvenience" is key for consumers looking for green products. "It isn't easy being green, but it's getting easier – and that's a strong sell to consumers who want to continue to live on their own terms," added Suvak. "Consumers expect convenient, no-sacrifice products that make it easier to be green."