Tag Archives: kitchen

REPOST: Today’s Kitchens Require Attention to Detail

The modern kitchen demands as much design attention as any other room in the house. Marcia Jedd of HGTV describes how tiny details can make a huge impact on the overall design of a kitchen.

Image Source: hgtv.com

The devil is in the details. Today’s fancy kitchens entail considerable attention to details by general contractors and remodelers when it comes to planning and installing a kitchen, says Hank White, president of Hallmark Kitchens, a Houston kitchen and bath remodeling firm. But the result of meticulous attention to such things is client satisfaction and customer referrals.

“People show great interest in getting more detailed in the functionality of the kitchen. They’re asking things like, ‘Where can we put our pots?’ or ‘I saw this on HGTV.’ ”

White outlines a number of kitchen design trends:

Larger kitchens = more features and appliances. Depending on the size of the kitchen and the client’s lifestyle, appliances play a dominant role. Think niche items, such as a swing-out pot filler faucet on the wall next to the stove, an additional dishwasher placed for convenience (and even extra dish storage), double ovens and warming drawers, as well as wine chillers and specialty refrigerators.

Kitchens as gathering centers. Contractors who get involved in kitchen design, layout or millwork, take heed. “The trend toward entertaining while you’re cooking or being entertained while cooking has caused layouts to change,” White says. He notes emphasis on islands as a center for baking or food preparation or as a serving-buffet area. So are flat-screen TVs, cleverly hidden behind slide-out panels or framed by wood pieces and integrated into the cabinetry or into the wall.

Dimensions matter. Likewise, White says today’s appliances, which often take on additional roles (such as a microwave-convection oven combination), can be far more complicated from the installation perspective. High-end European lines can be more complicated from the hook-up perspective. And design trends rule today. “The integrated look of wood-overlay panels over fridges and dishwashers and fitting out fillers and trim pieces like pilasters on either side of the fridge means no room for error in measurements,” White says. “Contractors also need to plan for proper hinging of makes like Sub-Zero fridges in order to have them open fully, given these fillers.”

Planning the installation. Allocating for electrical and plumbing considerations is critical. White recommends that contractors pay extra attention to appliance specifications and utility hookups to get bids correct the first time. “Utility hookups are always important in bidding out to your client. Remember basics like including GFI plugs and making sure outlets are included every 24 inches.”

It’s important to know the specifics of the individual models of the appliances, too. On a Dacor in-wall coffee system, for instance, a $200 option-upgrade allows for the unit to use a water line, as opposed to a tank in the standard model. “Contractors need to allow for heavy-duty ranges, many 36-inches wide, which require additional ventilation,” White says.

Uniqueness sells. White notes that some clients just want something unique. “Work closely with the kitchen designer,” he advises, adding that it’s up to the contractor to anticipate the work involved around highly unique selections. While granite and other stone-composition countertops are now common, he’s even installed a pewter countertop. Other choices include treated concrete surfaces as countertop. White says consumers are taking a cue from the institutional sector and asking for stainless-steel cabinets and counters for a sleek, modern look. Embellishes such as granite inlays or ornate tile in the backsplash are increasingly sought.

Frank LaMark is a kitchen designer and professional remodeler who is also the president of CabinetsDirectRTA. Visit this blog for more updates on kitchen remodeling.

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REPOST: Tips to organize your kitchen cabinets

You do not need to possess high artistic or geometric skills to perfectly organize your kitchen. In fact, simply tweaking your kitchen storage is enough to cover half of the task..

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Image source: 41nbc.com

No matter what size kitchen you have, you can organize your cabinets to maximize your space. Professional organizer Andi Willis shares some tips on making the most use of your cupboards.

Willis says most people feel confined by the shelves that the cabinet makers make, but there are a lot of things you can do that will give you more space in the same cupboards.

One easy and quick fix is to get your knives off the counter. Willis says a magnetic knife rack is very helpful.

Willis also says use a small shelf riser to use that empty space in your cabinets. That will allow you to have more items in your cabinet and they won’t be staked on top of each other.

Willis adds another piece of real estate that we don’t use enough is the doors. You can put small hooks on the door and hand lids, measuring cups, and other small items that can be hung.

Lower cabinets can be tricky because they are deep and dark. Willis says it can be hard to get to the items in the back. She suggests using roll out shelves which will help you reach items in the back without having to dig through everything.

Stacking your pots and pans can also damage your cooking items. She suggests using a pan rack to stack your pots, lids, or cookie sheets. You can also use more shelf risers to stack your cooking items.

Kitchen cabinet designer and entrepreneur Frank LaMark is a member of the National Kitchen and Bath Association. Visit this website for more kitchen improvement tips.