Archive for August, 2009

How to Fix Up Your Kitchen when Selling

When it comes to selling a home, you will find that there is nothing more effective at increasing the value of your home and increasing sales than if the home has a great kitchen.

If you are selling your house you can increase its market appeal by giving your kitchen a facelift. Whatever you can do to fix up your kitchen can make a crucial impression on potential buyers.
A minor kitchen remodel can be one of the most cost-effective investments you can make. In fact the kitchen is probably the most popular room in the house to remodel.

It is very much a given that kitchens and bathrooms sell a home, so fixing up these area, even for a few dollars, can go a long way toward boosting the asking price and generating interest. Many kitchen improvements can be low cost and still provide high impact. Some examples of these kitchen improvements include changing the cabinet hardware and faucets for more modern styles. You will be surprised at how small things like adding new knobs on your cabinets can make a big difference in the look of your kitchen.

A modest kitchen remodeling budget can stretch the most when it comes to spending money on fresh paint around the kitchen. Any cracked windowpanes, leaky faucets and other modest kitchen repairs should receive needed attention.

If you have a bigger budget to spend on kitchen remodeling upgrades then by all means go with upgrades in kitchen countertops that use solid surface materials such as granite, quartz, or soapstone. Using these materials for your kitchen countertops can give your kitchen a high-end and even an elegant look. Even if you chose to go with less expensive kitchen countertops and materials, such as a laminate surface can also provide your kitchen with a newer fresher look.

Refacing your kitchen cabinets can be a cost-effective method for bring your kitchen a fresher look as well. Refacing your kitchen cabinets will cost only a fraction of what it would cost to replace your existing cabinets, but will greatly increase the value of your home.

You can help showcase any natural light in your kitchen with freshly washed windows. Do not overlook the importance of window coverings, by dry cleaning fabric treatments and washing wood blinds.

With the kitchen play a more important role in the home, particularly for the gourmet, you will want to consider installing plenty of task lights in your kitchen to showcase the work spaces.

In order to determine how much you need to spend in making improvements to your kitchen is determined by how you can view your kitchen from the point of view of a potential buyer.

When it comes to selling a home, one thing to keep in mind is that as prospective buyers view your home, they will most likely pay special attention to your kitchen’s cleanliness, layout and storage capacity. Buyers tend to look for kitchens that have adequate storage and work space.
You need to reduce as much clutter in your kitchen as possible.

According to Remodeling Magazine, you can expect that money spent to upgrade a kitchen can produce the highest return on investment.

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Are You Looking For Gourmet Kitchen Remodeling Ideas?

There is no denying the beauty of a well-designed gourmet kitchen. Especially when it functions as well as it looks.

If you happen to consider yourself a good gourmet cook you would certainly want your kitchen to be a good backdrop to the food you are preparing. You want the design of the kitchen to live up to the great food you prepare. If you cook with only the finest ingredients then you want your kitchen design to include professional grade kitchen solutions. You want to create the proper environment with your kitchen remodeling. A true gourmet kitchen requires more space, more utensils, more appliances and more control.

For instance kitchen islands are being used as extensive food preparation areas. These kitchen islands have lower counter heights, cabinets and drawers for extra storage for appliances and other kitchen essentials. They also come with built in butcher-block countertops or marble countertops to prevent the spread of bacteria. They also have special knife drawers that contain special tools to keep your knives straight, organized and sharp. Some even have cutting boards that slide in and out for use and disappear back into special cabinets when not needed.

You don’t have to have a built-in kitchen island however to provide more workspace in your kitchen. Some kitchen island carts can give you more counter space, more storage and even more style. Having the area that you need not only makes food preparation easier – it makes it more enjoyable.

Other items to help your create your gourmet kitchen can include:

  • spacious pantry just off your kitchen
  • double ovens
  • professional grade 6-burner gas cook top
  • 5-cycle professional dishwasher
  • double basin cast iron sink
  • recessed down kitchen lighting with under cabinet fluorescent task lighting
  • furniture style cabinets
  • easy maintenance kitchen countertops
  • large glass-door refrigerator
  • unit spice organization cabinets

Having the perfect gourmet kitchen design will provide you with lots of space and flexibility. It should be large enough to entertain family and guests without disrupting the flow of your cooking activities. It should also be a place that any cook, gourmet or not will want to spend a lot of time in.

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Granite Kitchen Countertops Are A Great Choice For Many Outdoor Kitchens

When planning an outdoor kitchen design, choosing the right countertop is essential. After all, not all materials are appropriate for outdoor kitchen counters because they will be directly exposed to the potentially harsh outdoor elements.

For this reason, many choose to install granite kitchen countertops in their outdoor kitchens.
There are many benefits associated with using granite kitchen countertops as opposed to other types of countertops. These include…
 Offering an exceptional degree of durability, which means in outdoor kitchen these countertops can withstand outdoor elements including rain, snow and ice
 Being very functional, allowing hot pots and items to be placed on them without concern for harming the stone
 Easy to clean with just a clean cloth and water

Granite kitchen countertops have a reputation for being costly. While they are more expensive than some manmade countertops, they are more durable and available in a wide range of prices. As such, nearly anyone with any budget can afford to include outdoor kitchen counters made of granite in their outdoor kitchen design.

Granite is an igneous rock, once molten and formed and cooled deep inside the earth. Some types of granite can look very similar to marble.

Granite is believed to be second only to diamonds in its hardness. Kitchen granite countertops are becoming increasingly popular because of this unbeatable toughness. Granite is a durable stone that requires little maintenance and can be highly polished or finished in a variety of ways.

Granite can be found all over the world. Granite is extremely durable and is the hardest of natural stones for kitchen granite countertops. Granite is composed of quartz and feldspar. It has a very dense grain, which makes it virtually impervious to stains, because it has very little porosity. It takes a highly polished finish and once polished it is completely resistant to liquids.

Granite is an attractive stone that adds color and warmth to any kitchen. Granite is an ideal natural stone material for kitchen countertops. It resists scratches, heat and acidic substances. It can also withstand the placing of hot pots and is a good surface for handling dough and confections. However granite kitchen countertops can stain. If you are using highly porous granites then they should be sealed.

Some other advantages to having a kitchen granite countertop are that they can be an affordable, beautiful choice for your kitchen countertops, the stone changes appearance in different light during the day. One thing you have to watch for is than each granite stone is unique. This can mean that the color in the granite can look different from one day to the next depending on the lighting situation. Lighting can cause a reflection in the granite making one color more dominant. So in picking a color it is a good idea to choose from actual slabs not samples

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How to Layout Your Kitchen for Your Appliances

There are a many types of kitchen appliances that are been used in the kitchen for cooking, cleaning, defrosting, baking and washing. In kitchen planning or designing or renovating your kitchen in addition to the selection of cabinetry, countertops, and kitchen islands, having to consider just what kind of kitchen appliances you want in your kitchen can add to the already daunting task of a kitchen design project.

Selecting the right kitchen appliances can help make working in the kitchen a whole lot easier. In deciding on the appliances you want for your kitchen you first need to design your kitchen in a way that not only looks pleasing, but is easy to work in. Your kitchen appliances should be figured into how you plan your kitchen remodeling by providing installation space for them.

When planning your new kitchen or kitchen remodeling it is a good idea to choose your kitchen appliances first. This will make things easier for a professional kitchen designer to know how much space will be necessary for your appliances before the rest of the design is completed and prevents unpleasant surprises later.

Important consideration in kitchen planning is given to installation of kitchen appliances today. This is because many kitchen design professionals consider the kitchen work triangle and its design to be important in creating efficient use of space, with the refrigerator, cooking area and main sink placed in close proximity of each other.

Since the selection of kitchen appliances is so important in your kitchen design you need to make sure you think about your choices long before you consider buying your appliances. You need to do research on what other consumers and experts are saying about the various kitchen appliances on the market, and what custom design features might be available for them.

Having a new kitchen design will require new appliances. Whether you are purchasing a new kitchen or updating your existing one, you should look into some of the new appliances available to see how much easier kitchen operation can be.

Just what kind of look or style do you want for your kitchen? Will you have a kitchen island? This will make a difference in the overall appearance, color, stainless steel, or not, etc. type choices when it comes to appliances.
Do you want to have more basic appliances, or industrial grade appliances? For instance there are an increasing number of professional ranges available for the home that can appeal to the frequent cook. Appliances can come built in as part of a fitted kitchen, freestanding, or paneled so as to blend into the rest of the kitchen. Drawer units can be added that act as freezer space, a wine cooler or a warming oven.

Since only you will know just how you cook, and what kind of stove or refrigerator you will need, it is the choices of appliances that you will make that will have an influence on the overall design of your kitchen.

The more professional quality appliances will cost a lot more, but they will also work more effectively and last longer. If you have enough money to enable you to be selective, here are a few suggestions on some modern kitchen appliances.

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How to Select a Kitchen Cooktop

Your kitchen cooktop is the most used element in your kitchen. We can cook, brew, boil, fry and grill all by a cooktop. If you enjoy cooking, and spend a lot of time using your cooktop, a stylish and reliable cooktop would increase the quality of cooking as well as the quality of your life.

In selecting the proper cooktop for your kitchen, you need to consider your cooking habits. There are several things to be decided before buying a new kitchen cooktop. Among the things you need to consider are: a gas or electric cooktop, the cleaning features such as removable knobs and grates, the cleaning features like removable knobs and grates, the surface (ceramic-glass, or porcelain-enamel), power burner or simmering burner, or grilling.

It is important to be able to choose just the right cooktop for your kitchen. You have to consider the color, shape, size and function that might be needed. The traditional cooktops only have burners, while state-of-the-art cooktops offer a multitude of choices for cooking equipment in one cooktop.

Many people, both professional and home cooks prefer gas stoves over electric because gas is considered to be more versatile than electric. The flame from gas can make most food cook faster.

Gas cooktop have features like sealed surface burners to help contain spills for easy cleanup. Many cooktops are designed with the sealed burners recessed below the surface of the countertop. Models are available with “gas-on-gas” where the sealed burner is mounted directly on the ceramic cooktop.

Electric cooktops have features such as ribbon elements on a smooth top cooktop that heat quicker than the old coil elements and can even be adjustable in size. Many of the electric sealed ceramic cooktops are recessed so they are virtually flush with the countertop.

Whether you are building a custom made home or remodeling an existing kitchen, you may be considering how to make your kitchen design to fit your needs as well as your budget. You may be trying to decide want to have a cooktop and a wall oven or a range for your new kitchen.

Your cooktop will take up precious bench space so you need to decide what your needs are. Do you need more cooking area or more bench space?

The position and layout of the burners on the cooktop is very important. You need to consider the size of the burners in relation to your pots and pans. Having four small burners, close together if you usually use large pots and pans will be a problem. You can will have to customize the layout to suit your cooking situation. For example, you could have a large burner in the center with two smaller ones on either side.

Many of the gas, electric and induction cooktops have the exact countertop cutout. This should make it easier when it comes to planning and designing your new kitchen. The standard sizes for US cooktops are 26″, 30″, 36″ or 45″. Professional series cook tops are usually available in the following sizes: 30″, 36″, 42″ 48″ and 60″.

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Are You Looking For Information About Country & Cottage Kitchen Designs?

If you have long dreamed of a kitchen with a homey country feel, it might be time for you to look at country kitchen designs. With a country kitchen design, you can enjoy a kitchen with down-home charm, while still enjoying all the modern conveniences.
When you begin to develop your country kitchen floor plans, keep the same thoughts in mind as you would when developing any kitchen floor plan.

Namely, your country kitchen floor plans should allow you to move easily and freely within the room. Your goal should be to form a work triangle, which involves placing the main work stations across from each other in a triangular arrangement.

The main concept to keep in mind when creating country kitchen designs is the coloring and the style of cabinetry. With the right pieces in place, your country kitchen design can be successfully implemented.

When planning country kitchen designs, be sure to implement the following elements…
 A hardwood floor to create a rustic look
 Cabinets and counters made of wood, primarily oak or cedar
 Inclusion of antique style furniture including tables, chairs and china cabinets
 Country style accessories, including wooden clocks, old serving trays, and antique jars
 The use of country accents such as baby willows or vines around the window

The cottage style of kitchen design in characterized as a colorful, comfortable feel that is created by painted or decorated furniture, baskets, beadboard walls and natural fiber rugs, and weathered surface finishes, as well as colors one would expect to find in a garden.

The key to preserving the cottage feel you want will be in the accessories you choose, more so than in your granite choice. I believe either light or dark stone is a suitable choice for what you want to pull off. If you were to look at a stonelike material such as Corian (www.corian.com), you’d have many mid-range color choices as well.

Your housewares, linens and that odd bit of furniture will dictate which direction the style barometer points. If you want cottage, I would:

 Integrate a generous hunk of butcher-block surface atop the granite countertop.
 Invest in a bunch of chunky white dinnerware, mixing bowls, mugs.
 Keep simple striped vintage tea towels and dishcloths folded at the ready.
 Go hunting for that fabulous piece: an old graphic black and white restaurant clock, an incredible oversized textured dough bowl, a chipped and painted hanging cupboard, a great portrait.

There are many things you can do to help create that country charm or cottage kitchen look that you’re after. With the right country design, your dream kitchen is just a step away!

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Some Unique Bathroom Flooring Ideas

When considering what to do with your bathroom design remodeling project you just might want to start with first, in fact the flooring could just be one of the most important selections you could make regarding a bathroom makeover.

Flooring in any room makes a great impact when it comes to enhancing the appearance of your bathroom due to the amount of space it takes up, and since average bathrooms tend to be smaller the impact of a new floor can provide a greater impact. It is important to consider just what type of bathroom flooring to use in your bathroom for two reasons.

If your bathroom is rather small, choosing lighter colors and designs along with having larger elements will help to make the room seem to expand. Another reason is that a bathroom receives a lot of moisture both in the form of water on the floor, and the steam you would get with showers or running water.

A remodeled bathroom is usually considered a good project on a list of renovations because having a newer looking bathroom with all of the latest features can add to the value of your home.

There are many bathroom-flooring choices available for bathrooms that come in a variety of different styles and materials. First there are the natural stone materials such as granite or marble that can provide your bathroom with richness and texture. One big disadvantage to this type of material is that it considered to be at the high end of the price scale, and would probably look better in a larger bathroom.

Ceramic tile is always a beautiful choice for bathroom flooring. Ceramic tiles are available in many sizes, shapes, colors and patterns. As with natural stone materials, the tiles provide a rich, textured, solid feeling. There are ceramic tiles available that look like stone. The mosaic ceramic tiles are usually available in pre-mounted plastic mesh sheets, which can save you the trouble of individually setting each tile. Although ceramic tile bathroom floors can be slippery, you can now buy non-slip versions containing silicon carbide and ones with ribbed, ridged or studded textures. that provide a solution to that problem. The smaller ceramic tiles tend to be less slippery, since more grout is used with these tiles and the grout will act as a non-skid surface.

An interesting choice for bathroom flooring material is bamboo. Bamboo is an environmentally friendly choice. It is also a cheap and durable alternative to using a laminate with a wood finish. With the manufacturing process available today, bamboo can even be made strong enough to stand up to water and steam in the bathroom, since it is resistant to mold, mildew, and moisture.

Vinyl is considered to be one of the most popular mainstream flooring designs for bathrooms for many reasons. It easy to maintain and is long-lasting. Vinyl tiles are good choice for the do-it-yourselfer, and they are available in countless style options. However vinyl tiles tend to come up over. Using sheet vinyl can solve that problem, but the sheet vinyl is more difficult for the average do-it-yourselfer to install.

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Does Your Kitchen Need A Facelift?

Upgrade To A More Modern Kitchen Design For Less
Kitchen Cabinet Resurfacing & Granite Kitchen Countertops May Be The Solution For You!

Tired of your “Harvest Gold” appliances?  Tired of your lackluster cabinets and countertops? Does your kitchen currently say anything but “modern kitchen design”?

Nothing makes a home drabber than the unappealing zest of a tired old kitchen. Often the collecting point in a home, the kitchen should be visually appealing — inviting visitors and family to spend time in it – not just be a place to make a sandwich!

If it’s time for a modern kitchen design, weigh your options carefully:

  • Do all your appliances need replacing?
  • Do your cabinets need replacing – or just the exteriors?
  • Are your countertops just plain shot?
  • How’s your flooring – is it time to be replaced too?

For your kitchen cabinet resurfacing project custom cabinet wood doors are a beautiful, durable and very stylish solution. Instead of replacing your existing kitchen cabinets you could consider new doors for your cabinet.

Kitchen cabinet resurfacing is one of the most economical ways to improve the appearance of your kitchen. Why? It only addresses the exterior of the cabinets.

The cabinet refacing process can save you up to 50% or more of the cost of a complete kitchen remodel.

Kitchen cabinet resurfacing is the process of covering over existing kitchen cabinets, all cabinet doors, fronts, and sides – all exposed areas with new wood veneer.
the Kitchen cabinet resurfacing allows you to turn an old, worn out looking kitchen into a room that can add immense value to your home.

  • Choose from a variety of materials, styles, colors, and finishes.
  • Doors and hardware are removed to ensure all areas are covered during kitchen cabinet resurfacing.
  • For a few dollars more, replace old cabinet handles and drawer pulls with new options for a completely new look. These items are outside the realm of kitchen cabinet resurfacing, but can be done by the homeowner for little extra money for a completely new look.

Now that you have completed your kitchen cabinet resurfacing and your cabinets look new, is it time to address that countertop? Consider granite kitchen countertops. But aren’t they costly, you might ask?

Yes, granite kitchen countertops can be expensive. Consider that you saved a lot with your cabinet resurfacing, that not all your appliances needed replacing, and you saved with wood laminate flooring — and maybe you can justify granite kitchen countertops.

If not, you might consider tile granite kitchen countertops. Fashioned from the exact same stone as solid granite kitchen countertops, with the same desirable qualities, this option often costs less and provides for a visually interesting appearance.

Granite is an amazing natural surface that comes in a large variety of textures and colors. It is the hardest surface you can choose for your kitchen countertops.

Available in 12, 24, or 36-inch tiles, tile granite kitchen countertops may make your granite countertop dreams become reality – without breaking your budget!

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Are You Looking For Local Kitchen Remodeling Contractor To Help With Kitchen Renovation Plans?

If you are considering a kitchen remodeling project, you might feel overwhelmed at the thought of doing it yourself. If this is the case, you might be interested in finding a kitchen remodeling contractor to help with your kitchen renovation plans.

Before talking to any remodeling contractors the first thing to do is create a budget for the project. Without a budget you will be flying blind and may end up over spending. Having a tight budget will also help you make decisions about what kind of fixtures, and materials to purchase. Most products have a wide price range and having a budget will help keep you in line when making buying decisions.

When you look for a contractor to help you with kitchen renovation plans, there are several things you should look for in a quality contractor to improve your chances of having great results.
Some things to consider when considering remodeling contractors to help with kitchen renovation plans…
 Find out if the contractor has experience remodeling kitchens in the style you are after
 Check into the contractor’s past work
 Look into the contractor’s references
 Compare the contractor’s prices
 Find out if the contractor is properly insured
If your kitchen renovation plans involve creating a specific type of kitchen, such as one with a modern kitchen design, it is a good idea to find a contractor with experience in that type of design.

This will allow you to leverage the contractor’s kitchen remodeling experience and the contractor will be more likely to understand exactly what you are looking for.

If you are looking for a modern kitchen design, old world style, or a country kitchen, you should ask the contractor to show you photos of past jobs completed. This will allow you to get a good idea of whether or not the contractor’s style matches yours and allows you to review the quality of his/her past work in implementing kitchen renovation plans.

You should also ask the remodeling contractor to supply you with references. When contacting references, be certain to ask about their experience with the contractor. For example, ask if the contractor was helpful in developing kitchen renovation plans and if he/she stayed on schedule and budget.

Once you have narrowed down your contractor choices, compare prices and make sure the contractors are properly insured. After all, if an accident should happen with your modern kitchen design renovation, you want to be certain you are adequately protected.

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Changing the Look of Your Kitchen with New Countertops or Floors

Are you looking for an opportunity to update your kitchen? You may be getting ready to sell your home and update the kitchen, or maybe you just want to give your home a fresh look. One of the best ways to change the look for your kitchen is to update the floors and the countertops.

If you are looking for kitchen flooring ideas, there are lots of different options. Like most kitchen flooring ideas, you’ll find that these options vary quite a bit in pricing. One of the least expensive options is to replace flooring with simply vinyl floors. You can find vinyl in a variety of colors and patterns, and sometimes the vinyl can simply be applied directly over previous layers of vinyl.

Another option is to select a wood look. You can have wood floors with a variety of materials, including laminate wood flooring or natural hardwoods. Wood floors give your kitchen a feeling of warmth and a traditional look. There are some wood options that are great if you are concerned about “green options”. Bamboo floors are made from bamboo stalks, which is a fast growing wood. Another green option is cork. Cork floors are made from layers of cork trees, another fast growing tree.

Whether you are replacing the floors or the countertops, you want to find an option that is resilient against dirt and spills. One of the most popular options for countertops is granite. Look at any high end kitchen design magazine, almost all the countertops are granite.

Kitchen granite countertops are so popular because granite is a beautiful, natural surface, and they are incredibly durable. It’s hard to damage granite countertops; they can take a lot of abuse. You can add kitchen granite countertops to your home by using either a solid slab of granite, or another option is to use a granite laminate layer. Solid granite slabs can be quite expensive, but it’s an investment in your kitchen that will pay off in durability and increased home value.

If you opt for kitchen granite countertops from a solid slab, you’ll have to have the granite installed by a professional. The installer will remove your old countertop surface, and drop in the specially cut granite piece.

The less expensive and easy to install option is a granite laminate. In this case, the granite is ground into fine particles, and mixed with an acrylic polymer. This creates a look that is like granite, but is light weight. In some cases, this countertop can be installed directly over you old countertops.

If you want to increase the value of your home and give your kitchen a new look, consider replacing your kitchen floors or countertops. Just this simple change will make your kitchen look like a total remodel and will add value, and enjoyment to your home.

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