Sunday, August 26, 2007

Kitchen Updates You Can Do In A Weekend

These projects can be done in a weekend and will make a big impact in the look and feel of your kitchen.

1. Change your kitchen cabinet hardware. The majority of your time will be spent at the hardware store picking out the right kitchen cabinet knobs and drawer pulls. Make sure that you measure and study where the holes are in your cabinets and drawers so you pick the appropriate knobs and handles.

2. Install under cabinet lighting. This lighting works great for adding ambiance to the room and is very practical for adding more light for cooking and cleaning.

3. Touch up any scratches or gouges in your kitchen cabinets. Hardware stores now carry a wide variety of touch up pens in colors that will match your cabinets exactly. Touching up scratches is an easy fix and will make a world of difference in the appearance of your kitchen.

4. Paint your kitchen walls. This is a very simple, but dramatic way to improve the look of your kitchen. Go with reds, yellows, browns, or oranges to create a warm and inviting feel. Go with blues, greens, or purples for a cool, relaxed feel. Or, go with white to create that classic look.

5. Install a wallpaper border. These can be done at the top of your walls where they butt up against the ceiling, or at some intermediate point. The key is to make sure the border is level. If you are putting it at the top of the wall, this is simple. If you choose some intermediate point, mark your starting spot and pencil in a line around the room using a laser level.

6. Install molding at the tops of your kitchen cabinets. This is an easy, but elegant way to add that extra something to the look of your kitchen.

7. Change your kitchen faucet. There are many, many styles of kitchen faucets on the market, many of which will create a new and dramatic look for your sink area.

8. Install a tile backsplash. These are commonly installed above the stove or above the kitchen sink. You can go with plain tile, a geometric design, or even a picture that goes with the theme of your kitchen (you do have a theme, don't you?).

9. Put up a pot rack over your kitchen island. This helps out by giving you added storage and creates that gourmet look in your kitchen.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Glazing Kitchen Cabinets Video

This video gives a short primer on how to glaze kitchen cabinets. Glazing gives your kitchen cabinets a fresh, classy look and is much cheaper than replacing them.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Common Kitchen Design Mistakes

Due to "celebrity chefs" and their huge cooking areas, many homeowners have built kitchens large enough to cook for a small army.

  • Instead of designing a huge kitchen, it is more useful to have a layout that lets you move quickly and easily from the chicken in the oven to the salad in the fridge to the potatoes on the counter for a week night dinner.
  • The trend toward oversize commercial grade appliances force the scale of everything in a kitchen to be ratcheted up. Kitchen counter tops and kitchen cabinets all have to increase in size to match the scale of the appliances. This is a very costly "upgrade."
  • Countertops should never be more than four feet apart. Large kitchens often have huge amounts of space between counters. It makes the space look huge, but it is a pain when you actually try to cook something.

The perfect kitchen feels spacious but keeps everything close at hand. If you really want to have a sense of openness, consider a walk-in pantry. You can then eliminate some or all of the upper cabinets in your kitchen, which removes a lot of bulk at eye level and makes the room feel more airy. It's also important to create a sensible layout. You shouldn't have to take more than two steps between every counter-top and no more than three steps between the work triangle of sink, oven and refrigerator.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Latest Kitchen Trends

As sales of new and existing homes slow, many homeowners are seeking ways to make their current home more like their dream home. One of best places to start is the kitchen. It is the area most families spend most of their time and the one room where the return on your investment for improvements is excellent. Some of the more recent trends in kitchen design and renovation are:

  • Refrigerators are getting smaller and narrower to fit smaller spaces and budgets
  • More retailers are offering real wood flooring, including wood that has been hand-scraped for a distressed look
  • Quartz, or engineered stone is gaining on granite as the top choice for counter tops because quartz looks great and is exceptionally durable, but does not require periodic resealing like granite

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Standard Kitchen Cabinet Layout and Design

This picture shows a standard kitchen cabinet layout and design. The oak cabinets are a staple in many American households. The dishwasher even includes an oak laminate to match the color and style of the kitchen cabinets. Also note the appliance garage in the corner of the kitchen. It takes up counter space, but it is nice to have for hiding appliances like a stand-up mixer or coffee maker.