Friday, 21 January 2011

The Importance of Examining Function in Your New Kitchen Remodeling Design

When entertaining options for your kitchen remodeling project, it is easy to become focused on the aesthetics of your new kitchen vision and forget about the functionality of your design. Any kitchen remodel must be pleasing as well as functional to really result in long-lasting satisfaction.

Before consulting with your kitchen remodeling team, sit down and write out a list of what you would like your kitchen to "do" for you. Some things to consider- Where will your primary food preparation area be? How much counterspace do you need around your stovetop? How many cabinets do you need to store each of your kitchen items- food, dishes, linen, pots and pans, cleaning items, small appliances, etc.? Where will your primary eating area be? In what direction would you like your cabinet doors to open? How many cabinet doors versus drawers do you need? How far apart do your cabinet shelves need to be spaced to fit your bulky storage items? What type of specialized cabinetry would be beneficial- a lazy-suzan, pull-out drawers for canned goods, racks for spices, hanging hooks for pots, wine racks, potato bins, enclosed trash receptacles, built-in organizers for silverware drawers, etc... The list is endless and can get quite expensive when ordering custom add-ons to cabinetry, so make sure you itemize by importance when it comes time to make choices on what you can set aside, and what you can't live without.

Once you have completed your list, try to sketch out a rough design of where you think the cabinets and shelving should go to meet these functional needs you have identified. Don't worry about making it "to scale" as a designer or contractor would- your expert design consultant will do all of that work for you when they come to do your consultation. However, just having a rough design suggestion to offer them will assist them in understanding your kitchen needs more precisely, and will help them to develop a plan that will ensure your new kitchen not only looks great, but does everything you need it to do for you!

Tag : kitchen,kitchen design,kitchen remodeling,kitchen sink

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Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Lighten Up Your Kitchen With Curtain Panels and Valences

In most cases, if you only have a window above your kitchen window you cannot really do a whole lot to bring in natural lighting. You can still add a valance to the curtain over the sink and add to small sheer panels that can be tied to the side to provide a bit more appeal.

On the other hand, if you have other windows in the kitchen, you are in luck. You have all kinds of options. Panel curtains are ones that are one long piece of material that normally flow to the floor. You can use one or more panel according to the look you wish. If you use several panels, you can actually have a nice flowing appeal that will enhance the beauty of your kitchen. Now add a valance and you are creating an elegant look and appeal.

Panel curtains can be used for sliding doors, patio doors, or just a door to the outside and add more beauty to the kitchen. Yes, you can even add a valance. If you have an old wooden or metal door that goes to the patio, you can easily use panel curtains and give your kitchen an entire new look.

Of course, if you only have a window above the sink and a backdoor, you will not be able to enjoy all the natural lighting, but you can spruce up your kitchen. If you do have more windows, you may also want to consider remote control curtains, which will open at a touch of a button and give you all kinds of natural lighting.

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Sunday, 2 January 2011

What To Do With Your Kitchen Floor

Your kitchen floor is subject to daily abuse, from shoes, pets, dishware, liquids, and all other manner of dirt and debris, that put it under constant attack. But a nice looking kitchen floor is one of the more influential factors in making a good impression when someone enters your kitchen, or when you may be considering selling. There are many types of kitchen floor available but you have to be careful on which kitchen floor type fits your requirements best, and still suits your budget. The type of flooring you have will determine how much maintenance you will need to put into it. Aside from practicality, the flooring in your kitchen, also plays a vital role when it comes to the interior design in the adjoining rooms.

Plenty of Options

A kitchen floor must be easy to clean, resistant to moisture, long lasting, easy on the feet, and be able to withstand the force of fallen utensils and high traffic. If your floor is level with the floors in the adjacent rooms, you can make old linoleum, sheet vinyl and chipped tiles disappear by installing laminate flooring right over them. Modern vinyl flooring is durable and water resistant and can even mimic more expensive flooring options like hardwood and natural stone. Cushion vinyl might sound plush, but its paper backing and embossed-pattern construction place it at the bottom of the quality totem pole, and it is especially susceptible to tears and gouges from moving fridges and freezers, and the occasionally dropped kitchen knife. Tiling a kitchen floor is labour intensive, but you can save a considerable sum of money by doing the work yourself, and modern tiles are available in rubber, cork, ceramic and stone in a huge variety of colours, shapes, sizes and styles.

Wood is Good

Wood floors are very popular, be it engineered, laminate or solid, and can handle the high traffic that a kitchen has. Quality hardwood floors will also add a feeling of elegance and warmth to any kitchen, but natural wood flooring is proving to be one of the most popular finishes at the moment. To achieve that beautiful hard wood look, but without the expense, laminate floors can be a wonderful alternative. It is a compromise and will not look quite as beautiful as a real hardwood floor, but for many people, it is an excellent all around choice.

Eco friendly flooring is more than just a trend and you do not have to break the budget when remodeling a kitchen. Bamboo is gathering a lot of interest at the moment, especially as bamboo flooring is a renewable resource, after they are harvested bamboo plants continue to grow, and this type of flooring can be stained to match your kitchen decor, and offers a higher resistance to heat than wood or laminate. Recycled wood is obviously some of the best type of flooring that you can use when you wish to help the environment. A durable floor derived from a sustainable or renewable material not only makes your kitchen more green, it may put more green in your pocket when it comes time to sell your house.

Hardwearing Tiles

Slate tiles have a number of advantages over stone floors, its smooth surface holds a glossy finish well and is comfortable underfoot. Quarry tiles are not too cheap either but are considered better in bigger kitchens. Granite tiles are definitely a good choice, no matter what kind of lifestyle you live, as they are so easy to care for, and very long lasting. Ceramic tiles today come in rich tones, and include a range of patterns that is hard to incorporate on any other material. If choosing ceramic tiles, you must ensure that all the joints are properly sealed, as this will reduce seepage and prevent food and debris from getting lodged in the gaps between tiles. Porcelain tiles are a very popular floor material for many good reasons, they are sturdy, hard, and durable, and available in an almost endless selection of colors and patterns. The finishing is not smooth like a ceramic tile so you should not have any problems with slipping.

Even with cluttered countertops or dishes in the sink, the floor is one of the first places someone looks when they come into your kitchen, so if you take your time over making the final decision, you will know you got it right. When you finally go to the shops to have a look at your best choices, here is one final tip. Make sure you try it out by walking on it, with your shoes on and with your shoes off. Noise and comfort could be your deciding factor.

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