Congratulations Caroline!

Congratulations to our very own Caroline Rumore!

For winning

the Flight Centre Voucher Competition!

Have a great trip!

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Last Minute Simple Kitchen Christmas Decoration Ideas

It’s almost Christmas! Is your kitchen still bare and you’re having trouble figuring out how to decorate your kitchen, the social center, for upcoming Christmas festivities? Maybe you are tired of the same old holiday them? Try some of the latest trends which are not only a bit different but simple at the same time.

Your kitchen Christmas decoration does not have to take up too much of your time or space, a little here and there can add an extra sparkle to the season.

We know how it is! You’re busy preparing for your guests, marinating your food for this year’s holiday barbie or preparing the bar for hopefully a cool get together. You wouldn’t want too much holiday decoration in the way but you still want kitchen Christmas decorations to lift your mood and provide the holiday excitement.

Here are a few holiday decoration ideas for Christmas that are easy to do and also easy to take down:

Last Minute Simple Kitchen Christmas Decoration Ideas

  1. Last Minute DIY Tip: Bring Out the Trinkets

Christmas baubles aren’t necessarily just for the main Christmas tree. You can put baubles in a festive box, a small fish bowl or even hang them in specific areas. They can also make a great centerpiece for the table.

  1. Simple Christmas Theme: It Can Be Any Color

Remember that Christmas can be any color. You don’t have to stick to green and red. You can experiment with all sorts of hues, blue ribbons, white trinkets or pink baubles.  Soft coppers are on trend this year again add a few to your regular silver, gold or white.

  1. Edible Christmas Decors Are Easy To Take Down

Planning on baking festive cookies? Edible decorations can be hung on a wreath or on a real mini fir tree adding the smell of pine to the room. The kitchen benchtop can be festooned, or pop a few  in a holiday bowl or even around a hanging décor base.  Everyone loves cookies! Plus, you don’t need to take them down. Your guests can do it for you!Last Minute Simple Kitchen Christmas Decoration Ideas

Other edibles to consider, cupcakes, muffins, cake pops and candies. If you have pets, make sure it is not within reach of their reach!

  1. Plants Are Perfect Decor Bases

We love to use ferns, palm leaves, ever greens, Christmas bush, Christmas bellflowers and other fun flora. They’re nature’s own decorations. You can use plants and blossoming flowers to give the area a natural look. They have their own color and adding a touch of Christmas lights help, too.

  1. Christmas Lights Everywhere

Last Minute Simple Kitchen Christmas Decoration Ideas

Translated means “use your free time to be free”

Christmas lights are great to lace the bushes, wreaths and trees with. But you can also put lights in a mason jar, a big glass bowl or scatter them randomly.

Have fun decorating the hub of the home this Christmas, your family and guests will love the affect.

These kitchen Christmas decoration ideas are certainly useful and can make any cook, family member, or guest appreciate your kitchen space.

Are you ready to build your dream kitchen with us? You can call our expert kitchen specialists at Craftbuilt Kitchens, at (07) 3341 9166 or visit the showroom.

Have a Merry Christmas!

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Homemade Pizza – Because Every Pizza Is A Personal Pizza

There are a few people that would tell you that pizza is not a trend, it is a way of life. There are so many pizza lovers out there that can quickly name their favourite pizza when asked. From pepperoni to all-meat, from four cheese to seafood, from thin crust to deep dish.

Cook Home Made Pizza

And when it comes to pizza, oftentimes it is associated with home delivery. Now, according to Delicious, takeaway pizza and pizza delivery statistics has decreased and that is mainly because Australians are now choosing a different approach in food culture. Many Australians are now trying to choose healthier foods. However, that doesn’t mean that pizza is going to be put on the back burner.

The love for pizza is still melty and gooey for a lot of household members. Although they may no longer opt for the commercial slice or frozen alternative, there are still ways to enjoy the all-time favourite treat. You can make pizza on the stove top and in your own oven but your kitchen can offer you so much more.

When you visit the Craftbuilt Kitchens showroom, our expert designers can tell you that you can still use your oven but cook your pizza on a pizza stone. When renovating your kitchen you can go a little more upscale and splash out on a pizza oven. There is nothing more authentic than having a brick oven pizza for dinner. Our designers can even offer tips on how to maintain the stones and ovens.

Whatever you choose, whether it is a pizza stone or a pizza oven, our kitchen designers can help you choose the best oven that fits your kitchen, lifestyle and space. This is a fantastic way to make your own homemade pizzas that are healthier and personal. Because why not? Every pizza is a personal pizza. You can make it gooey, healthier, organic, cheesier and more. And it’s a wonderful way to get some much needed veggies into children who are fussy eaters. Kids would never say no to pizza!

 

For the best advice on pizza stones and ovens, visit Craftbuilt Kitchens in Brisbane and talk to a qualified designer about your kitchen appliance and oven options.

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Get Rid of Stains And Keep Your Kitchen Clean (Part 2)

Previously we talked about how you can keep your tiles and stone benchtops clean. Now, what if you have a wooden benchtop? This is how you give it its well-deserved TLC.

With these methods, cleaning your kitchen countertops and benches can be a breeze:

Wooden Benchtops TLC

Wooden benchtops are lovely but this natural product can be easily damaged by general household cleaners. If you have a wooden benchtop, the most important thing is to always clean up spillage right away. Like Caesarstone, use warm soapy water with a sponge. When dealing with raw meat, a weak bleach and water solution helps sanitize the bench. Spray the surface and wipe it with a sponge, then follow with the warm detergent wash. Avoid using strong acidic cleaners as they can breakdown the glue that holds the cabinetry or benchtop together.

There is no need to use harsh chemicals at all!

Clean and Clear Glass

 When dealing with glass, it is not the solution that is being used that’s the trick. Often, it’s the method of cleaning. It’s best to start from the top and work towards the bottom. Use a squeegee then wipe with its blade. A scrunched up newspaper that has been soaked in vinegar works, too!

You can do the same with the window splashbacks and even mirror splashbacks. Basically, any glass surface cleaning works well with this kind of method. This kitchen cleaning method is so easy, even your children can help you out!

Stainless Steel Tops and Fridges

When it comes to stainless steel surfaces, use distilled white vinegar soaked microfiber cloth (previously brought to a boil before use). Dab it on stains for 30 minutes, sprinkle with baking soda. Give it a gentle scrub with a clean microfiber cloth and let it dry. Got pesky fingerprints on your fridge door? Use cloth dabbed in alcohol and gently rub it off. It keeps your kitchen squeaky clean without the use of harmful chemicals.

At the end of the day, it is important to clean the tiles and everything else regularly. This will avoid building up a big mess in the long run. For advice on how to care for your kitchen benches, installations and tiles, don’t hesitate to approach any of our Craftbuilt Kitchen consultants. They know what’s best for your kitchen!

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How to Get Rid of Stains, Plus Keep Your Kitchen Clean (Part 1)

Installing a new kitchen is a great investment and you would want to take good care of it. All it takes is knowing the right solution to the problem. And by solution, we mean a specific kind of solvent or cleaning agent. Here are a few tips we found helpful.

Squeaky Clean Tiles

Let’s start with the tiles. Tiles in the kitchen can collect a lot of dirt and grease, especially in the grout. It’s a breeding ground for germs and stains. Before anything else, remember not to use anything abrasive such as gritty powders or creams. It has the tendency to create small scratches which will make cleaning harder and damage your tiles.

  • When cleaning stubborn spots and stains on tiles, they can be removed with water and a little bicarbonate soda.
  • Remember not to scratch the surface too much and use an old toothbrush to clean between grouts.
  • Another thing to remember is that the tiles should be properly laid well. This lessens the risk of more maintenance.
  • This is a risk you can run into if you install tiles yourself. Also a risk easily avoided if you have them professionally installed through our team at Craftbuilt Kitchens.
  • Another helpful tip to avoid scratches on your tiles is to put mats under appliances.
  • When it comes to general cleaning, vinegar mixed with warm water is a good natural cleaner, and removes grime.

Benchtop TLC

For stone benchtops such as marble and granite, they need tender loving care. According to Real Estate, these stone slabs have a calcium bicarbonate makeup which reacts to acid. Your everyday ingredients such as lemon, tomato and wine can eat the surface away. It can also create dull spots. For Caesarstone, clean the surface regularly.

  • You can use nonabrasive microfiber cloth and warm soapy water for cleaning such surfaces.
  • Avoid acidic food such as lemon, vinegar and wine.
  • And it’s important to wipe any spills right away! You can use a cloth or a sponger for such cases.
  • Avoid general household cleaners and acidic natural solutions (vinegar, lemon, etc). This breaks down the sealant.

We still have more tips for you to check! Click this link for more cleaning and kitchen maintenance tips.

For advice on how to care for your kitchen benches, installations and tiles, don’t hesitate to approach any of our Craftbuilt Kitchen specialists.

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The Cat In The Showroom: A Crakit Story (Part 2)

You’ve read the story about how a black cat came into the Craftbuilt Kitchens showroom.

But in case you missed it, read the full story here: Crakit Story Part 1.

Now, back in the showroom, she has certainly cracked her way into the hearts of the Craftbuilt Kitchens staff. Her name, Crakit, fits just right. Crakit is a very sweet and affectionate little girl. Every morning, she likes a good pat and then breakfast. After eating she comes behind the reception desk for more pats and cuddles from Caroline or Belinda. She understands that it’s the humans’ job to feed her and would become quite fussy and turn her nose up if she doesn’t like the food.

Her favourite place is the black chair so as not to draw too much attention of those who visit the showroom. With her healthy black fur, she blends in well with the chair. Secretly, she looks over each kitchen display and nods her head in approval when a client chooses a design. When Belinda or Caroline is away, she takes their place on the black chair.

Find the Cat!

Crakit spends most of the day indoors and likes to share in what the ladies are having for lunch. She never forgets to put in a little bit of exercise every day. They would play “chasey” to get the ladies off their chairs. Knowing she’s a fast cat, she would run out the back and zip under the fence. In triumph, she likes to roll in the dirt to show she knows she won.

Such is the life of a Craftbuilt Kitchens cat. She would hold dominion over all of the kitchen exhibit displays and isn’t too careless when it comes to greeting the clients. She adores visitors in her kitchen kingdom. Like a princess, she comes and goes as she pleases throughout the day.

It was already too late, the humans at Craftbuilt Kitchens already love her and, sensing this, she has grown to love them too. Such is the life of a spoilt cat with daily belly rubs and treats.

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The Cat In The Showroom: A Crakit Story (Part 1)

When clients visit the Craftbuilt Kitchens showroom, they won’t miss the fluffy Director of First Impressions, our very own Crakit the Cat. Whenever the clients’ children ask about her, this is the story we tell:

She was a young black stray with green eyes and white fluff on her chest. With head and tail low, her curiosity lead her to the showroom. She would watch through the window, her eyes fixed on the movements inside Craftbuilt. She would do this every morning like clock-work. When she felt anxious, she would rush to the bushes, keeping her distance.

She doesn’t go unnoticed. Her smooth black coat often glistening under the sun. It catches the lady humans’ attention. When a human tries to approach her for happy pets, this black cat then runs off into the bushes once again.

This happened almost every day until she realized that these ladies must be very cat-friendly. She may be tired of running off to the bushes every day, too. Still, she was careful. Now, these humans have decided to feed her from a distance. From afar, they encouraged her to come close. The black beauty cat still kept her timid charms. Over time, she tip-toes forward just enough so Sharon, the office manager, was able to feed her from a close distance. Still uncertain, she sniffs the offering. “The offer must be sufficient,” says Sharon.  The black cat slowly eats it up with her sharp eyes still watching the humans.

This lady cat was still quite unsure about the humans when they would try to get close to her. But she let them come near her after several feeding attempts. She was underweight for her size. Thinking that she might have a human of her own, these Craftbuilt Kitchen ladies placed an ad to see if someone would claim her.

A long while has passed.  “Nobody claimed her,” explained Caroline. Now, the lady-cat has already grown accustomed to the humans in her territory. So much so that she didn’t know that she was going to be part of the Craftbuilt family soon.

It was time to get her fixed. She wasn’t very amiable at first. She may have realised what was about to happen. After coordinating with the local vets, the RSPCA and the local council, this little lady was caught along with two of her kittens and her kitten-daddy. All of which were re-homed.

After being treated at the vet, she spent a week as a guest in Caroline’s home. She found this human’s home warm and soft but after a while, she yearned for the familiarity of the Craftbuilt Kitchens showroom. Seeing that the humans dearly love and care for her, she has learned to trust them completely. After all, she needs to look after her territory.

Read part two of Crakit the Cat’s origin story here: Cat In The Showroom Part 2.

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Takeaway Vs Home Cooked

With so much information now regarding health and wellness being available there are more and more people striving to have their bodies functioning in peak condition. This is a good thing as it means there are many more people working towards healthy lifestyles which will benefit future generations and the health system. It also means less fatty take away meals are being consumed and there are more home cooked meals happening in households. Aside from the money saving factor there are obvious health and nutrition benefits to be gained here too.

Knowing What’s In Your Food:

There is a lot more knowledge about the adverse affects certain additives can have on our bodies, now. Particularly where preservatives are concerned, we know it is better for our bodies to go for fresher food rather than packaged and processed food. One of the great benefits to preparing meals, in your own kitchen benchtops in Brisbane, is you know exactly what is going into your food. You know when you purchased any fruit, vegetables or meat you are using. Plus, you know it has all been stored correctly and hygienically in your kitchen.

Even if what you are cooking requires some tinned or packaged products such as canned tomatoes or rice, you are able to read the ingredients yourself and make an informed decision about which one you will choose. It is well known that healthy home cooked meals have the potential to contain a whole lot less fat, sugar and salts at the quantity you want, than going out to dinner at a restaurant or buying takeaway.

Take Out, Take Away, Fast Food

Knowing How It Is Prepared:

If you have ever worked in a café, restaurant or eatery you would know full well that food preparation and food storage practices can fall under par at times. You may think that buying a salad from a salad bar rather than buying a burger is better for you, but it depends on how you look at it. The burger at least has been prepared fairly recently whereas the salad was probably made up of the leftovers from the day before and the new batch prepared that day. And if you think it doesn’t happen, you are wrong. When you prepare your own meal in your kitchen you have the option to ensure benches and food prep utensils are as clean as you like them to be. So it’s easy to understand then that having a fully functioning kitchen that is laid out well is important for your health. Having a nice kitchen to prepare food in is going to encourage you to spend more time there.

If you’re thinking of making a change to your kitchen for the better, then visit our kitchen showroom in Brisbane to begin the journey to your new kitchen and healthier home cooked meals.

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Transforming A Family Business

After taking over the reigns from her father’s established business, Justine Glover has faced many challenges. Apart from working in a male dominated industry, growing industry competitiveness, technological change, and the impact of the Global Financial Crisis, Justine has had to also juggle life as a business woman and as a mother. Despite all the ups and downs Justine has come out smiling.

Helen Ross has a coffee with the affable Justine, and finds out why.

Background

Craftbuilt Kitchens Brisbane is a family owned business located in Underwood, established by its founder and owner, John Clark, in 1975.

Even though Justine was always interested in working in the family business, her father would not employ her until she had been out in the real world. So after acquiring skills in a number of fields including bookkeeping, secretarial, sales and marketing, Justine finally joined the business seven years ago as a part time kitchen designer, taught and mentored by her father.

In 2006, her father decided it was time to step back in a supervisory role, and Justine stepped up to become the General Manager. But little did Justine know of the challenges she was to face.

 

Trials Ahead

Being the boss’s daughter, coming in to run a business with little business acumen in a male dominated industry offered its own challenges.

Justine states that when she took over the reigns, her first focus was getting sales but she soon realised she first had to learn how to operate the business, whilst gaining the respect of the employees, loyal to her father.

With that, Justine began endless hours of reading, and outsourcing the information from all over Australia. “The support and information I gained was invaluable. Gaining knowledge of what was actually happening in the industry outside Craftbuilt Kitchens helped me in the way I looked at every aspect of the business,” states Justine. In her quest to learn as much as she could Justine also began studying a building course, part time. “Once I admitted to myself that I didn’t know what I didn’t know, I had to go and learn what I didn’t know,” says Justine.

With a growing competitive market, the technological advances increasing production efficiency, and the impact of the Global Financial Crisis, Justine knew that changes had to be made. “I remember reading, ‘If you are not sprouting and growing you are slowly dying.’ Regardless of our long standing reputation, that’s potentially what would have happened to our company. We had to make changes in order to grow and retain our competitive edge. So with that, I had to change my focus and find out where the bottlenecks were,” she recalls.

However, Justine says that it took her 3½ years before she had the guts to make some ‘tough’ decisions, which included staff restructuring, acquisition of a quarter of a million dollar machine and the software to operate it. “This machine was of course a huge investment but it was necessary to increase efficiency,” states Justine.

A Woman’s Touch

Another change incorporated by Justine is that of a female only sales and design team, reflected in Craftbuilt Kitchens’ new marketing strategies.

Justine states, “Women relate to women as men and women do think differently. Women want a kitchen to be functional and practical and will think about everything, from where the cutlery, egg flip and Tupperware should go; not just where the ‘boxes’ will go.” Justine believes that designing a kitchen with a female who understands is a natural progression to our changing society where a lot of women are now the decision makers.

Support All The Way

After all the ups and downs, Justine has had the support of her parents. “My dad’s people skills and the way he managed staff issues has been phenomenal. He has been a fantastic mentor, and has been very supportive,” says Justine fondly.

Despite facing her biggest challenge of working in a male dominated industry, Justine proudly states that, upon invitation, she is now part of a group called ‘MAS’ (Movers and Shakers – yes, male dominated). Justine states that it is a great group, where everyone has a chance to tap into the knowledge of others in the industry, and support each other.”

Justine proudly states that Craftbuilt Kitchens has built a good reputation, with suppliers now approaching her for her business. “We have the best customer service for kitchen renovations in Brisbane, and the best team. We are all very passionate, and all go the extra mile, right from the sales team to my team working in the factory. Every customer or potential customer is important. We have a fantastic reputation and pride ourselves in building customised kitchens to last,” says Justine passionately.

Justine states that Craftbuilt Kitchens’ underlying philosophy is guided by her father’s mantra, ‘Quality is better than quantity.’ “We have customers with tears in their eyes because they are so very happy with their kitchen and experience they have received,” Justine says appreciatively.

Author:

 

Helen Ross

www.misshelenbooks.com

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Craftbuilt Proves Why Kitchens Are Their Craft

When it comes to having a new kitchen installed or an existing one renovated, you want to have the absolute best that you can afford. As far as budgets go, cheap is nice but not if it is unpleasant in a short period of time.

This is why Craftbuilt Kitchens not only has the ability to design kitchens to suit all budgets. Their workmanship is certainly nowhere near unpleasant and everything is all about quality.

One of the first things you will look for in a kitchen design company, and one of the many things you will learn Craftbuilt Kitchens has, is a long standing good reputation for providing quality products and reliable service. Family owned and established in 1975, Craftbuilt Kitchens are well recognised for their quality craftsmanship and work on a method they call the “single tradesman construction”.

Quite simply, the same cabinetmaker/s will be responsible for the installation of your kitchen from start to finish. What does this mean for you? The kitchen that is created in your home will be a work of pride and achievement for the cabinetmaker which encourages the mentality of getting the job done right first. That’s why with Craftbuilt Kitchens, you know you can rely on the work being done as expected.

The proof is in the pudding on this method as one happy customer found out. “I would like to praise the workmanship and co operation of your installers Mark and Jack who installed our kitchen recently. They always arrived on time, were courteous and very tidy. They are an asset to your business. Pass on my thanks for a job well done. Regards, Russell Gray”

Of all the kitchen showrooms you may visit, the showroom that Craftbuilt Kitchens has to offer is sure to be a standout. It’s not just the well organised and beautifully set out displays that will grab your attention but the warm, friendly greeting you will receive and the invaluable advice you will be given from the highly experienced consultants and qualified designers.

Kevin & Christine were thrilled with their choice of Craftbuilt Kitchens, they wrote, “Dear Manager and staff at Craftbuilt kitchens, we would like to say thank you for our magnificent kitchen and professional way which you do business. From the time we walked into the showroom and spoke to Bev to the time the kitchen was complete, we dealt with caring and very professional people. We would like to thank Nigel, Mark, Jordi for installing the kitchen in a day. Thanks guys. Your trades people Rene (tiling), Daryl (electrician), Ross (Plumber) and Nic (Plasterer) Thanks. A very special thank you to Sue (you are a gem). Your design is great, and the way you do your job is outstanding. You go that extra mile and really care for your clients. Thank you!! As a company you are AAA+ and we would recommend you to anyone needing a kitchen.”

Get yourself the kitchen you deserve and contact Craftbuilt Kitchens for your renovation needs today at (07) 3341 9166.

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