Oct 8, 2009
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Tomorrow’s Kitchen

 

Perhaps it is because the kitchen is the room in the home with the most high-tech appliances that people often dream of a futuristic kitchen. From preparing meals to cleaning up to making sure that we eat right, the kitchen of the future will make our lives a lot easier. Though we aren’t there just yet, the next step in the ever-evolving kitchen is right around the corner.

New Technologies

Large consumer appliance companies like GE and KitchenAid have been working on more environmentally friendly kitchens for years now. These new kitchens will not only increase efficiency, but also lower operating costs. They will dispense pure water using ultraviolet light, which will ensure that water is completely free of bacteria and chemicals. To save money, consumers will load dishwasher detergent in large quantities, which will then be dispensed during washings at predetermined levels, which will save money on cleaning agents and wash water. Wash water can then be diverted to other home appliances like the washing machine. And food storage devices will be fully interactive. While they won’t cook for you, they will let you know if you have the necessary ingredients to make beef stroganoff for the family.

Refrigeration

Though many of us can not conceive of a kitchen without a traditional refrigerator, the days when a massive metal box dominated one side of the kitchen may be coming to an end. In fact, companies have already begun to market refrigeration devices called cool drawers. These cool drawers allow for unparalleled versatility and temperature control. They will give you the ability to cool, preserve, store and freshens foods at up to five different temperatures. No longer will you have to throw out the fruits and vegetables because they were kept at inadequate temperatures. The cool drawer will help you keep all of your food fresher for longer, which will preserve the vitamins, nutrients and taste.

But the best part about cool drawers is their versatility. Any number of cool drawers can be installed at different locations in the kitchen and set at different temperatures. You can install a fruit drawer in one area, a vegetable drawer in another and a meat drawer in yet another. It is always a good idea to put fresh food close to your food preparation area. You can also install drawers with drinks and fruits nearest to the entertainment area. Food drawers are not only better than refrigerators at storing and keeping food, but they are also more convenient and they save space.

If, however, you are a person who loves your refrigerator and refuses to part with it, there are a number of exciting advances right around the corner. For example, smart refrigerators will keep track of everything you are eating and will let you know when it’s time to go to the store and pick us some more broccoli.

Dishes

In the future plates will be made from carbon nano tubes, which are extremely thin and sturdy. These materials will take up less space, be easier to clean and will even sanitize themselves after use. They will also be inexpensive and environmentally friendly.

Communication

Although this is a possibility right now, most people love the idea of having internet access in the kitchen. Whether it is to check their email, the news, or to find a great recipe for beef stew, in the future most kitchens will undoubtedly have some form of internet access.

The kitchen of the future will also be equipped with more computer touch screens, which may be used to operate individual appliances or possibly even run the entire kitchen. They will be easy to uses and highly interactive. They may even provide internet access.

The author, Susan Pitters, co-ordinates a team of designers who have created a website to pass on many tried and tested ideas and techniques for the home enthusiast. Many years combined experience and many remodelings later, the team had amassed invaluable knowledge which they pass on for those wanting to either design a new, or renovate an out-dated kitchen.

See http://www.clever-kitchen-designs.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Susan_Pitters

www.LKNcabinets.com

Oct 8, 2009
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Narrow your focus to the must haves

This is a repost we did from about 4 years ago but its still worth reading again, say LKN Cabinets.

Remodeling a current home instead of buying a new one is a popular decision among homeowners in today’s economy and housing market. It’s also a wise choice, for when the time comes to sell, the return on investment for many remodeling projects is significant, especially in the kitchen.

According to the 2008-2009 Cost vs. Value Report from Remodeling Magazine, the national average cost recouped from a major, mid-range kitchen remodel is 76 percent. And until you’re ready to resell, you’ll have a beautiful kitchen designed for your lifestyle.

Before you take that first step and begin demolition, here is a few vital tips to help create your dream kitchen, save precious time and increase your home’s value.

Plan, Plan, Plan — Good design begins with a great plan. It takes thoughtful preparation and while a bit complex, it’s also exciting. A kitchen remodel is a big investment, so know how much you are willing to spend and plan ahead on the layout and design features. If you do, it will be easier to manage your budget and completion date. Keep in mind that hardware, paint and wall coverings can easily be updated to reflect the latest trends, but make sure your big purchases like cabinetry, countertops and appliances are something you can live with for years.

Think About the Way You Live — Your new kitchen design should be based on the way your family lives. How many people will be in the kitchen at one time? In addition to cooking, will you use your kitchen for dining, entertaining or homework? Does anyone in your family have special needs? Do you need a lot of storage? Prepare an inspiration folder of ideas you’ve seen in magazines or digital pictures you’ve taken of elements you like. The more you share with your kitchen design specialist, the easier it will be for them to get that sense of your family’s lifestyle.

Your Personal Style — When selecting your kitchen cabinets, are you traditional, contemporary or somewhere in between?

Before you head to your local Lowe’s, it’s important to know your style so your designer can help create a unique, customized look. Think about what appeals to you — styles, finishes, colors, etc. From a practical standpoint, review your priorities — your “must haves” — against your target budget.

SOURCE: At Home Magazine.

www.LKNcabinets.com

Oct 8, 2009
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Navigating Through the Sea of Options for Kitchen Cabinets

 

Kitchen cabinets are always the largest expense in a kitchen remodel. Because they are a major investment (and one that’s not likely to be made again anytime soon), you’ll need to sort through the hundreds of options and make choices with confidence. Not all kitchen remodels will require new cabinets, so step back and look at your kitchen with an open mind before deciding to just rip everything out.

FRESHEN UP
If existing cabinets are of good quality, are in excellent working condition and the layout functions well, the most affordable option is to freshen them up by restaining or painting. Another alternative, refacing, involves installing a new veneer on the exterior of the cabinet box and replacing the doors and drawer fronts, and should be handled by a professional. The process is much faster than installing new cabinets because the cabinets remain intact and the work is done onsite. It is important to note that when it comes to cabinets, doors and drawer fronts account for the greatest expense.

In reality, the doors and drawer fronts can account for as much as 70% of the cost of the cabinet. This is because most cabinets utilize plywood or particleboard for the cabinet box, which is significantly cheaper than the real wood used for the doors and drawer faces.

NEW AND IMPROVED
The decision has been made to install new cabinets, but there are other choices ahead. Are custom cabinets required, or will stock cabinets fit the bill? Custom cabinets are built to exact specifications and offer endless options with regard to materials, designs, finishes and accessories. Custom cabinets will require much longer lead times, and can be 2 to 5 times as expensive depending on the style of cabinet that you are looking at.

Semi-custom cabinets are just that: semi-custom. While the cabinets are made to the homeowner’s size requirements, the manufacturer produces them in predetermined increments. Often a spacer may be needed to conceal unused wall space, and that sacrifices storage. The range of materials, designs, finishes and accessories will not be as broad with semi-custom cabinets, but they cost less than fully custom cabinets.

Stock cabinets, which are the most affordable of new cabinet options, are pre-made and come in standard sizes. In the past, stock cabinets had a stigma to them because of the quality of materials that were used. Today, manufacturers are using solid wood for the face frame and doors, and better cabinets will feature solid plywood cabinet boxes.

If you ask any industry expert, they will tell you that 8 out of 10 kitchens cabinet be built using stock cabinets. A 1/2″ here or a 1/4″ there can be easily made up by using filler strips which will not take away from the overall beauty of the finished product.

No matter what type of cabinet is selected, it’s important to evaluate the quality of hinges, doors, drawer systems and finish. Don’t be afraid to pursue companies that sell cabinets strictly on-line. They will have lower overhead and therefore can offer better prices. Even RTA (Ready-To-Assemble) cabinets are featuring the same quality materials as the big name manufacturers, but at a lower price.

CONSTRUCTION AND STYLE
Next, consider the construction type and door style. Framed cabinets, which are popular in traditional kitchens, have a front frame around the cabinet opening. The door attaches to the frame. Frameless, or European-style cabinets, have no front frame. The door attaches directly to the side of the cabinet. Frameless cabinets, which are often used in contemporary kitchens, offer an advantage over framed cabinets. Because there is no front frame, there is open access to the cabinet interior.

When it comes to door styles, there are several choices. Traditional-overlay doors cover some of the frame, full-overlay doors cover the entire cabinet frame and inset doors sit inside the cabinet frame.

SOURCE: Gary Nealon, www.articlebase.com

www.LKNcabinets.com