Posts Tagged Kitchen Countertops

Choices Available For Kitchen Upgrading

Examining the Choices Available For Kitchen Upgrading

Estate Home KitchenMore and more consumers are deciding on upgrades for the kitchen. This is true whether they buying a new house or when they decide it is time to replace the original kitchen fixtures, and appliances. Today new appliances, sinks, faucets, and countertops are getting more upscale as well as providing more function than ever before.

Kitchen cabinetry also provides more opportunities for upgrading your kitchen. By adding cabinet accessories and to your kitchen design layout, you will be able to fully customize and personalize your kitchen to be able to maximize its function and purpose. New handles can change the look of your cabinetry very dramatically. You can add or replace old glass panels with new decorative glass panels. They will really improve the look of your cabinets.

Some popular decorative cabinet upgrades include: furniture toe kicks, decorative glass doors, crown molding, and faux door panels.

Kitchen countertops are perhaps the most expensive design item for your kitchen but it can really make the biggest difference in the look of a kitchen next to the cabinets.

There have been many changes in kitchen countertops in recent years with more options and choices available when it comes to surfaces. These surfaces include solid surface, natural stone, quartz, wood, stainless steel, concrete, laminates and more. Today, there are even more dozen choices when it comes to kitchen surfaces with granite being the most popular. Granite like other natural stones such as marble, limestone, slate, soapstone is very durable. It is also less porous than the other stone surfaces and only requires resealing about once a year.

Soapstone is a natural stone and was used by early New England settlers. Today it is still recognized as a good countertop choice. It is naturally resistant to harsh chemicals and heat, and unlike limestone or marble it does not stain. Also yearly maintenance can be performed with just mineral oil instead of using a sealant.

In addition, most countertop surfaces have several finish choices such as high gloss, honed, flamed and tumbled. The most common type is the high gloss or polished type of surface. Honed and tumbled are both matte finishes, but honed is typically smoother.

Giving your existing kitchen a new paint job. Paint can change the look of any room in the house and the kitchen is certainly no exception.

New window coverings can really brighten up a kitchen. You should select kitchen window coverings that can enhance the look of your kitchen décor and at the same time give your kitchen an inviting and open atmosphere. Some wonderful kitchen window treatments include: curtains, valances, blinds, and shades. One of the most important features that people decide upon when choosing a kitchen window covering is to use either solid colors or vivid patterns.

The type of lighting you select for your kitchen can really make quite a dramatic effect and help brighten any work area in the kitchen.

As far as kitchen appliances are concerned, besides the usual choices of conventional gas and electric burners, smooth top burners are also becoming popular in recent years.

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Creating the Look and Design of the Perfect Live-in Kitchen

Today’s kitchen is no longer seen as simply a single room that is used to just prepare and cook food. The kitchen has evolved into a unique and special place that can be used for living, preparing meals and for entertaining friends and family.

The perfect live-in kitchen can certainly be major draw for potential buyers for your home, at least if your kitchen is designed to be the perfect activity room and be a place where anyone would want to spend all their time, day and evening.

The kitchen today often serves as the official family gathering place for the home. Parents are usually cooking or going on the computer, and maybe at the same time other family members are watching TV, and the children are probably doing their homework, all of this activity occurring in the same room – the kitchen. So today families are spending more time in the kitchen. The kitchen now serves as a place not just for cooking, but also for all kinds of family activities.

Kitchen design trends point to the kitchen as serving as the center point of the household, combining the many traditional aspects of the kitchen with the ability provide relaxation for the family.

The way in which many people live in their homes has undergone considerable changes over the years. As we have pointed out most people no longer sit down as a family to eat in a dining room anymore. So why not have all the activities take place all in one room?

A kitchen that opens to a family room is often called a ‘great room’. A ‘great room’ describes the space in the home that combines the particular activities of several of the more traditional rooms like the family room, or the living room etc. A kitchen great room can be a place where family members can meet, eat meals together, or study together. This would be a singular unified space. Great rooms started to become popular in homes in the 1990’s. A live-in kitchen can be another expression of the great room idea.

In order to be able to create a live-in kitchen you will have to have a large enough kitchen space that can be used by the average multi-tasking family of today. Of course this means the larger your kitchen area the more likely you can achieve this.

A qualified and experienced kitchen-planning specialist may be able to provide you with advice when it comes to how to create more additional square footage. For instance a kitchen-planning specialist could recommend removing a wall, opening a closet or raising the ceiling. You can come up with some critical space in your kitchen by carefully planning your cabinetry to include features that store the kinds of items you have.

There are many important design trends occurring with kitchen design that are helping to create the perfect live-in kitchen. For instance:

Providing Some Contrasts in Materials and Finishes

Adding some contrast and variety into your kitchen design is important for being able to create the perfect live-in kitchen. The use of solid woods can contrast very well with a granite surface and help to soften the cold, hard appearance of the granite. As an example if you have a kitchen island and the countertop is of a high-gloss granite, then try to select a matte finish for the floor and backsplash tiles.

Kitchen Appliances

Kitchen Appliances can be made from some interested materials. For instance stainless steel appliances are widely used in kitchen design today. This leads us to another trend in kitchen design of having kitchen appliances concealed with wood panels. This works well in kitchens that are open to formal living areas. Another popular kitchen design trend is to put in two ovens and two dishwashers.

Materials for Countertops

In addition to the use of granite, many homeowners are also using many other natural materials. For instance, wood and butcher-block counter tops are beginning to make a comeback. People tend to love the patina of mellow wood, and even the cuts, scratches and indentations that develop over time give the material a unique character. Other natural countertop materials are, marble, glass, copper, limestone and soapstone. Many man-made materials such as concrete and quartz composite are also becoming popular choices due to the fact that they are natural looking materials.

Flooring Choices

Selecting a good quality hardwood floor can be a great choice for a kitchen, especially a kitchen that has an open floor plan. Also many homeowners are selecting more exotic woods, including walnut, mahogany, hemlock, cork and bamboo.

The Importance of Lighting

The lighting has got to be good. The types of lighting you select as well as how they are configured in your kitchen design should be influenced by your kitchens focal point, as in for instance a kitchen island. Good lighting is necessary in making your kitchen look bigger, as well as how important the right lighting can be for cooking. The use of recessed halogen lighting can create the appearance of daylight if your kitchen starts to get too little, plus with some under-lighting for units and having internally lit cupboards can work really well.

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