Flexible Design in the Kitchen

Flexible Design in the Kitchen

Today’s kitchens are delivering more multi-tasking than ever, as islands and niches now act as places to do homework, bill-paying and game playing in addition to eating breakfast and entertaining. Function remains vital to the way a kitchen is designed, and as lifestyles change, so do the elements of the overall space.

In addition to multifunctionality, trends impacting kitchen design include advancing technology and wellness. Aesthetically, color is upping its presence in appliances, tile and countertops, so cabinets need to provide the right complement – whether that means a striking, bold selection or calm, neutral backdrop.

Key trends impacting the kitchen cabinet segment include:

–The selection of flexible and specialized storage features continues to expand as homeowners try to make use of every inch of space in the kitchen.

–Wood tones are making a comeback, with finishes ranging from pale, natural wood looks to rich, dark grayed browns.

–Texture continues to trend, with weathered woods and soft-touch options among the most popular.

–The interest in color is skyrocketing, with painted and powder-coated finishes now available in an almost endless selection.

–Among the most popular colors trending for cabinets are blues and greens with a hint of gray, as well as black and, of course, white.

–Creative storage for cabinets includes pullouts, peg systems, pull-downs and blind-corner options, while drawers feature dividers and elegant organization for utensils and other items.


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How To Grow Chia Seeds

How To Grow Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are a great source of nutrients and have been used for thousands of years. However, many people don’t know how to grow them at home.

In this article, we will show you everything you need to know about growing chia seeds from the comfort of your own home. We’ll start by talking about what they are, where they come from, and why they’re so good for you before moving on to how exactly to grow these tasty little treats in your garden or even inside if it’s too cold outside.

What are Chia Seeds?

First things first, let’s talk a bit about what Chia Seeds are. They’re tiny black or white sprouts from the Salvia hispanica plant, native to Mexico and Guatemala. The Aztecs were said to eat these plants as early as 900 AD but didn’t catch on until recently when health nuts started touting their nutritional benefits all over social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest.

Image caption: https://assets.bonappetit.com/

Chia seeds are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants. Because they’re so rich in dietary fibers, they’re great for keeping your digestive system regular. Many people also like to sprinkle chia seeds on top of yogurt or cereal because they act as tiny little sponges that soak up all the liquid around them, which helps to prevent soggy breakfast foods.

The Chia plant has several stems arising from its base. During late spring or early summer, the chia plant will start to grow flowers. Each set of these flowers produces a seed head of tiny gray or brown seeds. The seed heads look like dandelions. 

After harvest, the seed heads are allowed to dry in the sun. Once they are dry, they are either threshed by hand or machine to remove the seeds from the inside of the flower head. The seeds are then cleaned and dried again.

Black and White Chia

When you see black and white chia in the store, note that they don’t come from different varieties. They both come from the same species of plant, but they grow under different conditions. Black Chia, which is dark purple/blue/black, comes from the coastal regions where it gets more rainfall and summers are warm. White chia, on the other hand, comes from desert regions with hot, dry summers. 

You may also see dessert chia or golden chia, known as salvia hispanica, the same species as black and white chia. However, it can’t be used in drinks since its sweet flavor won’t go well with liquids. Chia seeds can also be planted to grow chia pets or plants. When they sprout, the roots will hold onto a figurine to make it stand upright. However, the sprouts won’t last for very long.

When to Plant Chia

The Chia plant does well in USDA zones 8 to 12. Frost may kill immature plants and prevent flowering on mature plants. However, you can still plant your chia as an annual if you don’t live in these zones. Chia plants need warm temperatures and full sun to start glowing.

Chia seeds also prefer sandy, well-drained soil. They can’t stand wet feet because they are prone to rotting. They are also sensitive to extreme temperatures, so before planting the seeds, make sure that your gardening soil is not too hot or cold.

When to plant chia seeds depends on the time of the year and the type of seeds you have. If you are growing chia in a container, make sure to transplant it when the outdoor temperature is warm enough. Chia plants will grow slowly in cold conditions. You can also start planting indoors in 4-inch containers about two weeks before the last frost date for your area.

How to Plant Chia Seeds

You can purchase chia seeds from the supermarket and use them to plant or buy organic chia seeds from a health food store. Chia seeds do well in small containers which have good drainage holes at the bottom. Fill the container with potting soil up to an inch below the rim.

Now you are ready to place the seeds on top of the soil. Don’t worry about spacing; just spread them evenly in a thin layer across the surface. Smooth out so that your seeds are all at the same level, and press gently with your hand to secure them in place. Sprinkle chia seeds on the surface of the potting soil and cover with a thin layer of more soil.

Do not plant too deeply, or you will lose some seeds below the surface as they need light to germinate. Chia seed is so small that it can be hard to see and space evenly. Keep these tips in mind for the best results.

Planting Chia in Microgreens

If you don’t want to plant your seeds in the garden but still want to enjoy the health benefits of chia, use sprouts as microgreens. Place your seed raising mix in a shallow, wide container, then sprinkle chia seeds over the surface and cover with a ¼ inch layer of more seed raising mix. Keep moist, not wet, until your seedlings emerge.

How to Care for Chia Plants

When it comes to harvesting chia plants, they’re easy to grow and require low maintenance. You can use both the leaves and seeds in your recipes if you don’t have a garden, plant chia outside in the partial shade or in containers where it will get at least 6 hours of sunlight per day.

How to Care for Chia Plants
Image caption: https://images.saymedia-content.com/


Chia plants do well in full sun. They’re very tolerant of hot weather because they can go for several weeks without water. Avoid planting your chia plants in the afternoon because the leaves will be burned by the hot sun.

Mix and Soil

The right soil is just as important as other strategies to grow healthy chia plants. Use a potting mix combined with perlite or sand for optimal drainage. Chia thrives on a wide range of soil conditions. Good drainage is also important as chia plants don’t like wet feet. 

If growing your chia in pots, use a commercial potting mix combined with sand or perlite. Then use unglazed terra cotta pots for the best drainage. Terra cotta pots are porous and will absorb moisture, which will increase humidity around your chia plants. For outdoor planting, use topsoil mixed with sand or compost. No need to test soil pH as chia seeds can do well in all soil types.


Chia seeds are very drought tolerant. In that case, you need to water them only when the soil is dry. Bear in mind that they need water whenever their leaves look wilted and start to curl up. During the blooming phase, chia plants require abundant watering (it’s like with humans). However, wait until their second set of true leaves develops before you begin watering them regularly.

How to Sprout Chia Seeds

Besides being essential fatty acids, chia seeds sprouts are also a natural source of linoleic acid that strengthens hormones. Chia seeds are also a natural source of linoleic acid that prevents the hardening of blood vessels. They also help to lower cholesterol and high blood pressure.

The Covered Moisture Method

In this method, you’ll need a bowl and a piece of cloth. You can use a paper tray or plastic tray, but you can use whatever works for you. This is to cover your growing seeds so that they don’t dry out.

The Terra Cotta Tray Method

This requires more work than the covered method, but it has better results. You can use a plastic tray again, or you can opt for a terra cotta dish. The tray must be filled with chia seeds and enough water to allow your sprouts to grow well.

The Chia Pet Method

You can easily grow chia seeds in the form of a pet you like. This is because they can grow chia seeds with the shape of anything you put them in. All you need is to pick pottery, terra cotta dish, or any other form that’s available and fill it with chia seeds and water. You can then wait for the sprouts to grow little by little.

The Chia Pet Method
Image caption: https://www.gannett-cdn.com/

The Jar Method

In this method, you can use any container with a lid where you can put your sprouts in and screw the lid on tightly. Make sure you use a jar with a wide mouth to cover the linen cloth and secure it with a rubber band. Add water and let it soak overnight. Your chia seeds will turn into gel overnight. The following day, drain the water in the jar by opening the lid to let it flow through the cloth. You can also use a mason jar to get the best results.

Companion Planting for Chia

Chia plants can grow up to five feet tall, so plant them with herbs that won’t compete with height. You can plant chia with another mint family, parsley, sage, cilantro, and thyme.

Harvesting Chia

When it comes to harvesting chia, timing is very important. Make sure you harvest them before they self-seed. Don’t allow your flowers to turn brown, as you’ll lose much of the seed harvest. Once the petals have fallen off the flower, cut the flower heads off. After harvesting, don’t hang your flowers to dry; instead, put them in paper bags to dry. After drying, remove them carefully and place them on a flat, clean surface. The seed heads should be dark brown and dry.

FAQs on How to Grow Chia Seeds

How long does it take to grow chia seeds?

It takes around two weeks for chia seeds to develop after germination.

How many inches tall can chia seeds grow?

The height of the chia plant is about 14-18 inches tall.

Can you eat chia seed sprouts?

Yes, you can use them in your salad or sandwich. They are very healthy and nutritious too.

Final Thought on How to Grow Chia Seeds

Chia can be grown at home. It is a very beautiful plant and will add color to your room too. In addition, if you have pets or kids, they will benefit from this wonderful plant.


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How to Bend Wood

How to Bend Wood

Bending wood is a delicate process that requires special tools, time, and patience to complete. Although bending wood around corners or joints is difficult because it weakens the board’s structural integrity, this doesn’t mean you can’t bend wood in these areas.

Woodworking projects often require boards bent into different shapes such as curves and angles. This can be accomplished by using simple bending techniques with basic hand tools. Follow these steps for how to bend wood around corners and at joints correctly, so your project stays strong and beautiful without any damage to the material or structure of your piece.

With a few simple steps, you’ll learn how to properly bend wooden boards without damaging their shape or strength during construction on most carpentry projects, including furniture, wine bottle holders, and more.

Bending wood is a two-step process. These processes include softening the wood through steaming and creating several cuts on the back of the wood through kerf cutting.

Bending Wood with Steam

The first step in the process of how to bend wood is steaming. You can either do this using a commercial steam box or use a large pot with a lid, properly ventilated for airflow. You first soak the wood in water to make sure that it is moist. You then place the three in the steam box or pot and close with a lid to trap heat in.

Image caption: https://cdn.shopify.com/

In order to keep your wooden bent part in the desired shape, you should apply clamps. You can make clamps out of other materials, but it is recommended that you use steel or other metals as they will not compress the wood over time.

Now it’s time to steam your wood. Make sure you take care of the heat source and your steam production. Test the temperature by sprinkling water onto your heated surface; it should produce enough steam to make the wood damp but not wet.

Bending should be done in the direction of the wood grain. Wood grain is the direction of wood fibers in the trunk of a tree. Wood is often cut along the grain in furniture making; this reduces splitting when force is applied to it by screws or nails.

So, if you have solid wood in front of you and notice a horizontal line and not the diagonal line, then that’s the direction of the wood grain.

Best Types of Wood Steam Bending

Steam bending works well with thin and small types of wood. Sheet materials are not suitable for steam bending because of their size. Types of wood that you can steam bend include red oak, white oak, and hackberry. Wood varieties such as soft maple, yellow poplar, and hard maple are even contraindicated for bending because they are too hard.

How to Bend Wood With Steam

What You’ll Need

Steam sourceScrewdriverWoodSpring clampsUtility knifeHeavy glovesEye protectionCordless drillFour-inch rubber gasketTwo-inch hoseFour-inch PVC sewer pipeFour-inch sewer pipe solid cap

Step 1: Build Your Steam Box

Your steam box can be a wooden box, or it can be a piece of PVC pipe. The important factor is that both pieces of pipe should fit tightly inside the box or other steam chamber and should not rattle when you shake the box. If they do rattle, add rubber spacers between them at their point of contact with one another.

Build Your Steam Box
Image caption: https://i.pinimg.com/

Once your wooden box is together, drill a hole in the lid large enough for the spout of your rubber gasket. For the best result, set up your exit hole so that it is very close to the edge of the box when you hang the lid.

Step 2: Prepare Your Steam Box

Remove the rubber gasket and place the steam box in areas such as your garage or outdoors. This will prevent your flooring from being damaged by excess moisture. Put your boards bent in a sawhorse-type construction at a height allowing you to easily work on them. Get some wood clamps and place them across the boards. The more planks you have in your stack, the slower they will bend due to their moistures expanding at varying rates.

Step 3: Build the Frame

As your wood dries, create a frame for it using some 2 x 4’s. Keep them about an inch or two apart from each other, and attach them on all sides of your wood planks with metal screws. This will help the boards retain their new shape once they are dry. You can use plywood, lumber, and clamps on a woodworking bench to create the frame.

Step 4: Prepare to Steam

Place a bowl in the bottom of your steam box, add water to it. For every inch of wood, you’ll need about one gallon of water. Add a cup of vinegar to the mix-this will help your boards absorb more moisture and ensure they bend easily. Use a drill to punch some holes in the sidewalls before adding your wet planks to them.

Step 5: Bend Your Wood

Turn on your heat source and bring it to the maximum. You can test that it’s hot enough by placing your hand a few inches above the bottom of the steam box. If you cannot keep your hand there for more than five seconds, it is ready. On average, you should steam wood for about one hour per inch of the desired thickness.

Step 6: Remove Your Wood and Let it Dry

Use thick gloves and plywood tongs to handle your boards as they come out of the steamer. Place them on some thick, dry pieces of wood and let them dry completely. Make sure you overbend them by five percent because they’ll tend to bend back to their original shape as they dry.

Bending Wood by Kerf Cutting

This wood bending method requires no soaking or steaming and no waiting time. You can create multiple incisions in the back of the wood by cutting thin strips which will not be seen. When the wood dries, it will bend easily even though it is very hard and dry.

Bending Wood by Kerf Cutting
Image caption: https://static.woodmagazine.com/

For kerf cutting, almost any type of wood can be used. You only need to bend the wood parallel to the kerfs. Be careful to bend your wood slowly to avoid cracking. However, the kerf cut method should never be considered for structural parts because the kerf cut can structurally weaken your wood, resulting in failure.

What You’ll Need

Kerf saw bladePencilWoodWood glueMiter saw table saw and radial sawEye and hearing protection


Prepare Your Wood

Image credit:http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0561/8961/6313/articles/wood.jpg?v=1628573771

Measure and mark your wood 1/2 inch from the end. Then make a cut on the marks you’ve made and set it aside for later use. Using your miter saw, table saw, or radial arm saw, find the kerf blade that fits the tool you’re using and measure to see if it will fit.

To determine the angle of how much you need to cut, measure the width or thickness of your wood and divide it by two. Remember that the kerfs are located inside the curve you’re trying to fashion, so be very careful because deep kerfs can break the wood.

Mark the Range of Cuts

Use a pencil or painter’s tape to mark the span of the bend you’ll be creating. But you can as well skip using these tools if you’re going to bend the entire material.

Make Your First Cut

Turn on your saw and run and run the blade across your solid wood. Begin at one end of the bend span. Continue making additional cuts as you maintain a distance equaling the width of the saw blade. Continue cutting until you reach the end of the bend span.

Bend Your Wood

You can bend your kerf cut wood by installing it in its eventual installation. For example, you can install a bent wood in a bench leg, in a chair back, or maybe you can add a decorative touch to any furnishing.

You can also use your bending saw blade for this task if you have one installed in your machine. Fit the blade into your table slot and adjust it to fit comfortably in the kerf cut. Press down on the handle of the wood while drawing the wood towards you. Press against it while you push away for a more pronounced curve.

You can also fill the kerfs with wood glue by bending wood into a frame and leaving the glue to dry. This works best for outward wood curves and not inward curves. For inward curves, use a supporting frame to hold the curve in place while the glue dries.

The frame should be made of wood that matches your project, so it isn’t very noticeable. Cut a frame to fit inside your bend and secure it with nails or screws from the outside of your bend to keep everything together while the glue dries.

Fix the Bend

If you get a slight bend in your wood and it isn’t noticeable, leave it. However, if you get a large or very noticeable bend in your wood when there is no way to straighten it properly without breaking the board, try fixing the problem with screws. Drill holes through each piece of bent wood where they are touching each other.

You can also fix the bend by facing the front side of the wood by veneering or laminating. Apart from fixing, setting, or bending your wood, this process will also hide any cuts you make while fixing it. You can also use this when learning how to distress wood

FAQS on How Bend Wood

What is the best wood for bending?

The best wood for bending is the plastic ones, which are deciduous wood species. They include birch, oak, beech, hornbeam, maple, linden, and ash bend wood.

How long do you have to soak wood before bending it?

While most people like soaking their wood for about 2 hours, some soak it for up to 24 hours. You may not be able to bend the wood if you do not lengthen the time.

Is there any special tool needed when bending wood?

Yes, a jig is usually used in bending woods. A clamp can also be of help.

Final Thought on How to Bend Wood

As you can see, bending wood requires different techniques and working materials. So, you have to familiarize yourself with these materials and techniques before you start your woodworking outdoor project. Also, which wood bending method to use depends on the type of wood, the thickness of the wood, and the desired angle you are going for.

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