Create a snack zone prep area between major appliances. This usually involves a micro & refrigerator nearby. http://studio76kitchens.com
Since most homeowners now admit there is more than one person working in the kitchen, the inefficiency of a basic “work triangle” (sink, fridge, stove) is rather obvious. Where do you put an army of small appliances and still keep adequate counter space? Balancing the choices of large appliances is also a challenge since the goal is to accomplish a floor plan that doesn’t seem “forced”. Here is a small quick list of pet peeves (more politely called design challenges) that I see out there in all different kinds of kitchen spaces. Try to avoid these.
1- A giant microwave over the range or on the counter
2- A dishwasher trapped in the corner/fridge up against wall
3- A refrigerator that is too deep and sticks out into the room
Another negative that you may want to avoid …… anything that cannot be wiped down with a sponge doesn’t belong in a kitchen.
The best kitchen is an uncluttered kitchen, no matter what your style choice is, and creating “work zones” rather than a strict triangle. Here are a few that I like:
Do you need to replace your bulbs to LED? Not necessarily, but eventually:)
Most of us will still be confused in the lighting aisle, where you can still purchase halogen bulbs because of the low price and these bulbs “feel” like the old incandescents …. yet halogen bulbs are still only approx. 25 percent more efficient which is just enough to meet the EISA standards set.
LED lights are truly getting better and more exciting. (Can you tell I’m the daughter of a life-long electrician?) Because LED lights are so efficient, they will take a VERY long time before you’ll need to replace. I like that concept! According to Popular Mechanics, “Replacing a 60-watt incandescent with an LED equivalent will save you $130 in energy costs over the new bulb’s lifetime. The average American household could slash $150 from its annual energy bill by replacing all incandescents with LED bulbs.”
Here’s more info:
-LED lights are dimmable
-LED lights are getting “warmer” in color tone (LED’s now have CRI’s in the 80’s….Color Rendering Index)
-LED lights are getting cheaper to buy (manufacturers are more efficient in producing LED’s and demand is high)
Replacing certain kinds of older fixtures and housings take a bit of research and “trying on” lightbulbs can be a chore, but in the end, an updated look is achieved and the energy savings will be realized.
Putting colorful accent bowls all over your kitchen for color!
New Tiled Backsplash in a herringbone pattern adds fresh color to the cooking wall in the kitchen.
Glass doors are perfect to view colorful dishware.
A new granite stone countertop choice!
Accent rug for pop of color to a neutral floor
Bold colors can offset stainless…and creates interest with a neutral kitchen
These are some of the interesting things you can do (other than painting a bold color on the walls) for adding some additional color and texture in your kitchen. Brighten up your kitchen with color and interesting design details.
Have a bright summer!
Don’t hesitate to use LED lighting as you update your home’s lighting, especially in the kitchen. I am always pleasantly surprised how rooms are beautifully illuminated. (and you won’t need to keep changing out the bulbs!)
Continuous hardwood flooring (showing hickory species in photo) can blend rooms, making the space appear larger and open.
An extraordinary kitchen of “contrasts” designed by Candice Olsen
TRANSITIONAL STYLE – This is simple really. Don’t throw away all your things …. mixing the old with the new and creating a cleaner-looking kitchen with more storage is the trick to creating this look in your kitchen. For example, even if you will keep your appliances and flooring, try to select a cabinet style with simple lines and upgrade your countertops to a one-color quartz. You might want to take that old closet out and replace it with tall pantry cabinets to organize better.
RUSTIC AMERICAN STYLE – We used to call this “Tuscan” but here in the states we are really into re-purposing materials! So for a really interesting, laid back and casual approach to this kitchen style, I enjoy searching for old barn posts, or using the vintage details in an old century house to gain tremendous texture and aura. A honed slab of granite or a rugged 2-inch thick piece of limestone, soapstone, or wood can be used for countertops. Slate, distressed hardwood, or textured porcelain large tiles are great for the kitchen floor. By all means, go to the flea markets or small stores that sell vintage accessories. In my area, I recommend a resale shoppe called “Life Is Sweet”. Here’s their Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Lifeissweetinhudson
NEW AMERICAN COUNTRY – Your life will reflect this timeless style. A long time ago, we used words like colonial, or Georgian, or early American, but life in casual America has never changed really. However, now I need to plan for more modern appliances and a place to charge those techy devices and cell phones! Using colorful fabrics at the kitchen windows and on the barstools has never been more fashionable…..AND we always seem to dine-in the kitchen with this all American style of stained cabinetry (cherry is nice) and granite surfaces and hardwood floors in maple or oak or hickory and cherry. Because the kitchen is “open” to other rooms, all your collectibles can be displayed as well as kids artwork and family photos. The backsplash can be small mosaics or larger subway tiles and adding color to the walls is always in style.
EUROPEAN CONTEMPORARY – Nevermind that it’s clean … and sharp … and high-tech, this look can be designed in several cabinet finishes and surfaces. There are however two ways to go with color. If I was ever to design a city high-rise loft kitchen and it had a window with a gorgeous skyline view somewhere, I’d probably want to stay with neutral colors on the big items and specify a couple spectacular light pendants to mimic the lights in the city. But if a family wanted to have that magazine picture pizazz, why not eliminate some of the upper wall cabinets and display art on open shelves or hide the big appliances such as purchasing “Refrigerator Columns” by Sub-zero. There are so many choices for a modern style.
CLASSIC TRADITIONAL – If you need to remodel your kitchen in a timeless tradional style, this is a great look that’s “safe” even for when you go to sell your home in a few years. White painted cabinets with a possible stained or color-painted island works, as well as stainless appliances and granite with movement and pattern. Small lamps on the counter’s corner and accessories such as decorative storage jars and beautiful serving bowls with colorful placements can jazz up this look as well as a modern runner rug for in front of the kitchen sink. The new gray neutrals also work well (and yes, beige goes with gray!) See Abby M Interiors blog about this style: http://www.abbyminteriorsblog.com/2014/02/designer-favorite-granite-for-your.html
The Before and After of this kitchen near Cleveland, Ohio, would make any homeowner proud. The value of their home just went up. The clutter is gone. The cabinets are new. The countertops are granite. The appliances are new. The island adds tremendous flexibility. It’s easy to prep and clean-up. The family entertains with ease. Nice seating. Storage galore!
I love “Wow” before-and-after photos!
Can you achieve a renovation of this caliber on a budget? I think so. Here are 3 things to keep in mind when considering a total “gut” kitchen remodel.
1) Where your house is located will have an impact on which projects to tackle. However, an updated kitchen always adds an immediate value, especially after a depressed housing market.
2) Depending on the values of other houses in your neighborhood, a total kitchen remodel (rather than a partial) will most likely set your home apart from them. I just talked to a couple who purchased a house based solely on the fact that the kitchen was totally renovated and updated to an “open floor” plan (walls had been taken out) and they could simply move-in and know that the value already exists.
3) Staying on a budget is important. The material and product choices today afford great flexibility in kitchen remodels. For example, the recent kitchen remodel I’ve posted in this blog had moderate selections in their new appliances, keeping several thousand dollars available for granite counters. That’s just one area where a budget can be maintained. Another is new cabinets. I’m not a big fan of refacing existing cabinets … there’s just too many manufactured cabinet lines out there with all the upgraded and latest hardware and drawer and door construction features at modest prices.
Stay tuned in to my blog as I review current kitchen designs and products.