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Monthly Archives: May 2016

Kitchen Cabinets Tips

Kitchen CabinetsStock cabinets are the most fundamental, nitty gritty sort of cupboards. Home focuses and suppliers as a rule keep these close by, so they’re typically accessible for prompt conveyance with no requirement for uncommon requesting. They are the minimum costly alternative, yet you will for the most part be restricted on decisions as far as shading, completion and entryway styles.

Semi-custom cupboards include more detail and alternatives like crown trim, forming on the base edges, side boards, and glass entryways. More decisions in styles, shading and complete are accessible, however semi-custom are more exorbitant than stock. You may need to have your merchant arrange these from the maker.

With custom cabinets, the sky’s the limit. In this category, practically anything you can dream up you can have built. Sizes and dimensions are variable and can be customized to fit specific spaces — down to the last 1/8-inch. When customizing, you can select from a myriad of specialty features, and the quality of workmanship will be high. So will the price. These will typically cost at least twice as much as stock cabinets. At this level, you’re investing in quality and aesthetics.There are several categories of materials used for cabinets, and corresponding price ranges. Here are the main categories

  • Laminate is the less expensive material, and is the same material that countertops are made from. A disadvantage is that it can only be made in flat panels. However, it’s a good choice for kitchens with a sleek, contemporary look.
  • Vinyl-clad doors are basically a laminate that’s been shrink-wrapped around a door panel. It offers raised features and detail with the low-maintenance of a plastic.
  • Wood is a more expensive choice, but it offers the classic look of a natural material, and can be made with a variety of styles and finishes. The price range for wood doors is wide, as is the selection. Wood doors may be painted or stained to give a natural finish that shows off the natural wood grain. Well-crafted wood doors can be thought of as analogous to fine furniture.
One of the more exciting design developments in kitchen cabinetry is the creative use of mixed elements. Stylized kitchens today are created with a latitude in design that can make any kitchen unique. Light-stained wood can be used against rubbed paint or dark finishes, and a variety of doors, features and hardware can be combined creatively for a distinctive look. Glass panels, raised panels, scalloped edges and overlay doors are just some of the design options you can choose from. Maintaining a sense of balance and unity is the challenge (and the fun) in custom designing a kitchen.
One important consideration when choosing cabinets is the design of the drawers — especially since drawers are the elements that get the most use in a kitchen. Full-extension glide drawers allow the drawer to be pulled out all the way. Standard stock-cabinet drawers only pull out about three-quarters, so access is limited. Also pay close attention to the basic construction of the drawers. Dovetail joinery and all-wood construction is a mark of fine workmanship. Less expensive drawers are typically made of plastic with wood fronts, and may simply be stapled together. Also, pay attention to the glides. Metal glides hold up longer than plastic ones.

Keep in mind that, in a typical remodeling budget, about half of the cost will be allocated to the cabinets alone. Selecting them therefore is one of the most important design decisions you’ll make for your kitchen.

Light Up Your Kitchen using These Helpful Tips

Want to create an eye-catching kitchen that adds value to your home, too? Let there be light — but not too much, according to kitchen design and lighting experts.

“Since the kitchen is such a draw these days, especially for the gourmet, you want to make sure that you have plenty of task lights to showcase the work spaces,” says Frankie Cameron, national account manager for Bellacor Lighting based in Mendota Heights, Minn. “But people tend to over-light, using too much wattage or just one super bright light in the center of the kitchen that leaves you standing in shadows.”

Instead, both Cameron and Mark Lambert, a contractor and owner of DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen in Bellingham, Wash., recommend a combination of ambient, task and decorative lighting. Here are their tips for achieving that balance:

1. START UNDERNEATH

“The least expensive, easiest layer to add is under-cabinet lighting,” says Cameron. “Manufacturers like Sea Gull and Kichler make reasonably priced xenon lights, which are cooler than halogen and make the kitchen more user-friendly.”

Cameron suggests low-voltage xenon bulbs in varying lengths to light counters or islands below shelves or cabinets, but recommends steering clear of small “puck” lights. “They give your counters and shelves these odd spots of light and you can see some models plainly,” she says.
Xenon lights like Kichler’s Series II are also inexpensive to retrofit and ordinarily plug into existing outlets without new wiring.

2. CHOOSE A CEILING LIGHT FOR NOW AND LATER

“If your ceiling mount fixture is outdated, replace it with a newer model that has a nice finish and gives off a nice light, but isn’t overly embellished,” says Cameron. “You want to make sure it will work with a contemporary or traditional decor.”
One model she recommends is the ceiling mount fixture from Access Lighting, which comes in brushed steel, white and rust finishes and is a plain, contemporary looking bubble.

3. PICK OUT THE POPULAR STUFF

For mood-setting (or ambient) lights, Lambert says you can’t go wrong with two established trends: the pendant light and the track light.
“One of the more interesting brands of track lighting is Tech Lighting — a bit costly, but very cool stuff over an island or counter,” he says. The brand’s Single Circuit T-trak light, for example, features a satin nickel and white powder coat finish, curves in numerous configurations, holds eight lamps and has dozens of models from which to choose.
Glass pendant lights have also been holding their own in the kitchen market for some time, says Cameron, because they are fresh and pretty and can still work with different decors. One model that’s beautiful and stylistically flexible is Restoration Hardware’s Clemson Double Kitchen Pendant — its glass is a plain prism and the nickel-plated brass frame works with traditional, contemporary or eclectic designs.

4. DECORATE, BUT IMPERSONALLY

A little decorative lighting is a nice touch in a kitchen and that, too, can be achieved with art-glass pendant lamps, says Cameron: “Many of the hand-blown fixtures can really add to the overall aesthetic in a kitchen, and that’s important when you’re trying to sell a buyer on a luxury kitchen.”
Many high-end lighting manufacturers, individual designers and craftspeople offer larger fixtures that make prominent artistic statements. While these arty, expensive pieces are not a necessity, they’re a nice add-on when you’re positioning your kitchen as a luxury retreat. One such fixture is the Old Candle Tray Suspended Lamp from Kichler, manufactured to resemble a soft collection of blown-glass candle holders.

5. SUIT SOMEONE ELSE

Whether you’re choosing modest or lavish decorative lights, remember you’re not looking for the style that most appeals to you but for the one that’s most likely to enhance the value of the kitchen.
“I always try to be cautious about choosing things I personally like, because they may not appeal to people looking to buy a house,” says Lambert. “If you are really concerned about adding value to your home, check the home improvement magazines and online sites for trendy but popular decorating ideas. If your budget allows get help from an interior decorator or designer.”

6. STICK TO ONE LOOK

There are a lot of really nice, really pretty kitchen lights on the market, and potential buyers will probably expect to see some of them in the finest kitchens. That said, make sure any replacement lights your purchase match the current decor or are neutral enough to work with the wishes of the future home owners.
“Mixing and matching is probably not the best approach for the novice,” says Lambert. “Stay with your theme.”
Any time you’re tempted to imprint your personal style, remind yourself that your goal is added value, not artistic expression.

Renovation Kitchen?, Here Its Tips

A main private and business inside draftsman, George Livissianis has made the insides of some of Sydney’s most renowned worldwide restaurants, including The Apollo, Longrain and, most as of late, the tremendously praised Cho San in Potts Point.

Livissianis knows some things about outlining dazzling insides that don’t bargain on usefulness, and with regards to kitchens, there is no space for mistake.

“I think everyone values the kitchen space,” Livissianis says. “It’s a standout amongst the most exceedingly respected things when somebody’s taking a gander at a house to purchase, and in the event that it’s not, then you are exceptionally mindful that will be one of the primary things you do – ‘I’m going to redesign the kitchen and lavatory’.”

Whether the kitchen is the heart of your home, or you are putting aproperty up for sale or as a rental property, nothing screams ‘deal breaker’ quite like a tired old kitchen.

Here are Livissianis’ top kitchen renovation tips.

# The quick kitchen renovation

If a complete overhaul is out of the question, here are some quick kitchen renovation ideas that will immediately lift the space and add value, according to Livissianis.

  • Upgrade appliances – a sparkling new cooktop, dishwasher, toaster or fridge not only looks fantastic but will be a pleasure to use. If it’s for a rental property you can claim depreciation on permanent fixtures.
  • Replace benchtops – if the kitchen joinery is in reasonable condition, replace the benchtops. They are one of the most visible and most used features of any kitchen and offer the opportunity to make a design statement. Livissianis favours textured natural materials like white granite.
  • Replace joinery and lighting – consider replacing the cupboard doors and drawer fronts for an immediate visual lift. Updated lighting will modernise the kitchen and can be used as a design feature. Joinery that is in decent condition may benefit from a fresh paint job, but Livissianis recommends replacing worn or damaged joinery rather than re-covering or painting.

# Optimise your kitchen layout

It’s all about having a comfortable amount of space in the right places: “You learn a few things from doing commercial kitchens,” says Livissianis. “You need a set-down space on either side of the cooking area and you need ample preparation space. You can water that down into a functional residential kitchen.

“Make sure there is nice flow – if you’re chopping up vegetables then the bin should be close by and you should be close to the sink so you can wash them. When you open up the dishwasher, you don’t want to close off half of the kitchen and have to step over it.”

The kitchen’s aesthetic and floorplan will be dictated by where it’s located and the size of your home. “If it’s on show versus being tucked around a corner, that starts to direct how you design your kitchen,” Livissianis explains.

“If you’ve got a generous-sized three-bedroom apartment, then you don’t necessarily want to be viewing the kitchen from the living space it’s big enough to have the kitchen as a separate room. But in a studio apartment you are forced to integrate the kitchen as a part of the living area.”

# Consider an island bench

Though designing an industrial kitchen often centres upon the head chef’s cooking requirements and the type of food being prepared, Livissianis has found an island bench is a key design inclusion.

“The kitchens I feel work better are the ones where you have a formal cooking line and an island in the middle. They’ve got a circular rhythm to them – working around that central island table.

“I think an island is a nice thing to gravitate to and depending on how it’s detailed, it can look less like a kitchen and more like a beautiful object,” Livissianis explains. “It’s a gathering spot, really. A lot of people, if they’ve got a formal dining room, choose to eat day-to-day in the kitchen, rather than in a separate space.”

# Choose the right kitchen appliances

When choosing appliances you need to decide on functionality as well as quality. Livissianis has noticed a trend towards the big-name suppliers that offer longer-term guarantees and follow-up services. If purchasing a number of appliances at once, it is also worth considering buying all in the same brand. This way the set will match – details such as dials, railings and overall geometry will be consistent, and you may be able to obtain a discount.

# Consider your flooring options

Livissianis’ top renovation tip when it comes to kitchen flooring is consistency. “My choice in the floor is determined by the bigger concept, not the fact that it’s in the kitchen,” says Livissianis. “I’d rather see the floor flow throughout the space so it is all connected, rather than having it as a separate surface just in that zone.”

Make sure you allow at least four weeks for the renovation of your kitchen, excluding planning and design time.