Oct 7, 2009
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Dramatic Kitchen Upgrades For Under $500


Everyone wants to have a gorgeous kitchen, but not everyone can afford to invest in their kitchen during today’s economic downturn. Likewise, most people are not lucky enough to be contestants on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. But luckily there are many ways in which savvy consumers can enjoy dramatic kitchen upgrades for under $500. Consider the options below and discover how you can create a beautiful, more efficient kitchen at a reasonable price.

1- Update your kitchen lighting. Not only is a new kitchen light fixture a great decorative detail, but it’s also critical to maximize the efficiency of your kitchen because food preparation will become instantly easier with proper lighting. When upgrading your kitchen light fixtures make sure to choose models that can accommodate energy efficient light bulbs, which will provide wonderful lighting and reduce your electric bill. Additionally, energy efficient light bulbs are designed to provide years of reliable usage, so that consumers will not need to worry about changing their light bulbs frequently.

2- Purchase a new dishwasher. In November 2009, the US government should be instituting a plan through which consumers can receive a rebate when exchanging their older appliances for new, energy efficient models. As is the case with energy efficient lighting, energy efficient kitchen appliances can reduce electricity costs while significantly impacting the look of your kitchen. Choose a modern stainless steel design or a dishwasher with a front panel that can be easily integrated with your existing kitchen cabinetry.

3- Change your faucets. Many of today’s kitchen faucets are designed for fashion as well as functionality. If your old faucet doesn’t work properly or is outdated, exchanging it for a new one will give your kitchen an instant facelift. For the most dramatic look, choose a faucet that extends well above the kitchen sink. If you’ve never tried a faucet with a retractable hose now may be the perfect time to enjoy the practicality of this feature. Gorgeous kitchen faucet designs start well under $200 and are sure to increase your enjoyment of your kitchen.

4- Try pull out shelves instead of stationary shelves. Perhaps the most practical upgrade that you can make in your kitchen is to replace your standard kitchen shelves with pull out shelving. You won’t believe how much easier it can be to access your pots, pans and pantry items. Rev-A-Shelf is a leading manufacturer of kitchen organization products, and they offer a fantastic line of products for well under $500 that will revolutionize the efficiency of your kitchen.

5- Replace your kitchen cabinet hardware. kitchen drawers and cabinets are opened frequently, they demand cabinet hardware that will be comfortable to grasp, wear well and look fabulous. Starting at around $1 per piece consumers can find brand name cabinet hardware for any room of the home. This may be the most affordable way to upgrade your kitchen, and you won’t even need to worry about electrical malfunctions, burned out light bulbs or plumbing problems.

Kitchen upgrades need not cost a fortune to make a dramatic difference. With a bit of research, creativity and perhaps some government rebates, you can enjoy the kitchen upgrades of your dreams without spending a fortune.

Article Source: Sari Holtz EzineArticles.com


Oct 6, 2009
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Greening Up Your Kitchen

As eco-conscious habits become more and more part of our collective culture, many people are taking to making their own homes more environmentally friendly. One of the best places to start the eco-journey is in the kitchen.

One of the biggest ways you can change the eco-friendliness of your kitchen is by being more aware of what you bring into it on a weekly basis in the form of groceries. Most North Americans buy a lot of pre-made, overly packaged foods every week; the majority of product packaging ends up dumped in landfills after each garbage day.

One of the best things that you can do for yourself and for the environment is to buy food that’s as close to its natural state as you can. This isn’t to say that you should buy raw wheat grains and grind them yourself, but you should buy uncooked, unseasoned meats and raw fruits and vegetables and cook them yourself. Not only will there be less in the way of packaging, but there will be less salt and preservatives going into YOU. Make sure to compost your uncooked, non-meat food scraps as well!

What you use to carry your groceries home makes an impact as well. Many grocery stores across the continent are not offering plastic bags to patrons any longer, instead actively encouraging them to purchase inexpensive reusable bags, bring recycled bags, or offering a biodegradable alternative. If you like a higher quality of reusable bag, check out your local shops or look online; some companies even offer a reusable produce bag for your fruits and veggies.

Another great way to green up your kitchen is by buying only really good quality cooking tools that will last a long time. A few good quality stainless steel pots and pans, a good cast iron frying pan, and some sturdy wooden utensils can last you a lifetime if you take care of them. Avoid Teflon coated pans as they have a limited life-time and there are some health concerns over the use of Teflon. Quality, energy-efficient appliances will help make your kitchen more eco-friendly as well.

The finishing touch on any green kitchen is, of course, in the cleaning; make sure that you don’t use harsh corrosive chemicals when you’re cleaning your eco-kitchen.

Once you’ve greened up your kitchen, it’s easy to move into greening the rest of your home, one room at a time!

Article Source: EzineArticles.com


Oct 6, 2009
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Modern Kitchen Design – 5 Great Ideas

Planning a modern kitchen design? Well, here are five great bits of advice I can offer you on getting every element of your plans bang on perfect.

Let’s start by talking about planning. A modern kitchen could look and feel any number of ways but what will determine how yours looks is your lifestyle. Think about how often you use your kitchen, what you use it for and the type of things you do in there. Then write down all the things you need to have in there to enable you to work better. Planning isn’t the most glamorous part of any kitchen design, but you’ll be rewarded for your work by the end of the process.

The second tip is choosing the right materials. You’ll want to invest money in strong materials that not only look beautiful and modern but also last for as long as you need them to. Things like stainless steel are popular in modern kitchen design and will also stand the test of time. Make sure you think about every little thing you put into your kitchen and consider if you’ll get your value out of it.

Next, incorporate an island into your kitchen. No modern kitchen design is complete without a central unit these days. An island can also be remarkably functional and you can have it purpose built to suit your own needs. For instance, if you do a lot of cooking you can have a sink or chopping board built in. An island is also useful for entertaining guests so if you have a lot of dinner parties, it will usually become the central hub of activity.

Make sure you keep those lines clean. When I say this I mean that in a modern kitchen design, all the surfaces should have very straight edges and line up perfectly. A nifty tip is to ensure you overhead cupboards reach the ceiling. This is something that easily gets overlooked but can really give you that streamline effect, which is essential for a modern looking kitchen.

Last but by no means least; involve yourself in the process from start to finish. If you’re passionate about how you want your kitchen to look then make sure you stay on top of the design process right through to the fitting. Designers and builders will take liberties and make key decisions if you don’t make yourself clear. Stay involved with the project and see it through to the finish. You’ll be rewarded with a stunning modern kitchen.

Thomas Baugh offers more advice on planning a modern kitchen at the Kitchen Design Site.

Article Source: Thomas Baugh www.ezinearticles.com