Saturday, July 21, 2012

Kitchen Remodeling Tips

Eliminate Wasted Steps
Think about how and where you use kitchen items. Store breakfast foods and bowls near the breakfast table. Keep wraps and plastic containers in one handy spot near a work surface for wrapping leftovers. Locate dishware and flatware near the dishwasher to ease the process of unloading.

Add a Message Center 
  Establish a message center near the kitchen telephone. Put a bulletin board, chalkboard, or whiteboard on the wall, and store a calendar, notebook, and writing utensils in a nearby drawer.

Plug It In 
Install multiple outlets along the backsplash and on the island so you'll have electricity wherever you need it.

Break Up Cabinetry Blocks  
Avoid boring, heavy blocks of doors and drawers by adding interesting details such as glass doors and display shelving. Or try wine storage or windows.

Use Light Colors in a Small Kitchen  
Dark color schemes shrink an already small space and make it less inviting. Use soft shades on kitchen cabinets and natural light to visually expand a small room.

Find a Focal Point
Splashy tile, fancy floors, sizable range hoods, bright kitchen cabinets, and busy countertop patterns give the eye too much to look at. Pick one focal point in your kitchen design and complement that area with a few other quieter, eye-pleasing details.

Design Wide Walkways 
Paths throughout a kitchen should be at least 36 inches wide. Paths within the cooking zone should be 42 inches wide for a one-cook kitchen and 48 inches wide for a two-cook configuration. When planning, adjust kitchen islands and peninsulas accordingly.

Direct Traffic 
For kid-friendly kitchen designs, keep the cooktop out of traffic areas so children don't catch handles and cause spills when running through. Also, make the refrigerator accessible to both passersby and people working in cooking and cleanup areas.

Find the Right Height for the Microwave  
The best height and location for a microwave oven depends on the chef and the degree of kid-friendliness desired in the kitchen. For adults, 15 inches above countertop level is a good microwave height. For kids, a below-countertop setup might be safer and more suitable.

Determine the Island's Function 
When it comes to kitchen islands, form follows function. If you want to cook and eat on kitchen islands, plan enough space so the cooktop is safely separated from the dining area.

Plan Landing Space 
When designing your kitchen, allow 15 inches of countertop on each side of a cooktop and refrigerator. Landing space is also important near the microwave.

Consider the Countertops  
Those who cook frequently require more counter space -- ideally between the range and sink -- than those who cook infrequently or who prepare simple meals. Incorporating two countertop heights makes baking easy and helps kids who are involved in meal preparation.

Double Up 
A second microwave  oven and a mini refrigerator or refrigerator drawer positioned at the edge of the kitchen work center can keep guests and family members in the kitchen but out of the cook's way. A bar with stools doubles as an after-school spot for kids and as a gathering spot for dinner guests.

Arrange the Range
Place a shelf beside or behind the range to keep cooking oils, utensils, and spices handy. Place S hooks on the side of the range hood to hang frequently used pots and pans.

Colorful Kitchen Islands

Orange Zest Island 
Citrus-inspired hues are bold, sassy, and full of energy. If you love blazing orange but can't commit your entire kitchen, try it as an accent. Melding drama, style, and warmth, a punchy island mingles with black slab countertops for the perfect amount of sophistication in this kitchen. Stunning metal-mesh pendants illuminate the island with contemporary flair.

Taken by Teal 
Ease color into a room with an attention-grabbing hue on a kitchen island. Teal blue does all the talking in this French-themed kitchen. Color on the upper wall and the island pops against a black-and-white backdrop, creating a striking color scheme.

Sunny Disposition
Being bold is all about striking the right balance, and bold doesn't always have to be bright. Here, a saturated, yet muted golden yellow island gives this pretty kitchen a peppy focal point. When considering a contrasting color for a kitchen island, look to the hues already being used in your kitchen. The color on the island is a more intense version of the yellow tiles in the basket-weave pattern backsplash.

Inky Blue 
Denim blues aren't just for your wardrobe -- they're also perfect for a feel-good, classic interior. Deep, inky blue adds a note of drama to this 1950s farmhouse-style kitchen, and it stands in contrast to the white walls and countertops. A funky chandelier and open metal shelving infuse this composed space with contemporary flair.

Rich wood stains and white form a brilliantly contrasted palette that's both soft and luxurious. Although considered a neutral, brown wood finishes can be viewed as a color when played against neutral finishes, such as the white cabinets, beige backsplash, and white marble island countertop. Adding heft to this airy kitchen, a chocolate-brown island serves as the focal point in this interior. Wood floors with a matching stain and lighter-tone wood countertops on the perimeter ease the transition between dark and light finishes, creating a charming space that's easy to live in.

Serene Scene 
 Give an all-white kitchen a lift with a refreshing coat of blue for a classic, pleasing palette with a hint of color. With a cornflower-blue island and watery-hue backsplash, this white kitchen feels cheery and full of character.

Sunny Citron 
Good looks and practicality are equal partners in this gorgeous kitchen. A tempered chartreuse island blends the sunny side of yellow with the vibrancy of lime green for a warm, springy look. The island was outfitted with a roll-out baking station, fashioned in the island's likeness, to make baking a breeze, and the frame is painted the same zingy chartreuse as the island.

Neutral Variations 
Playing with slight contrasts is a no-fail way to spice up a neutral palette. Anchoring the heart of this open kitchen, the island's stone color, although muted, stands out against the white walls and perimeter cabinets. Industrial elements, such as the stools, light fixtures, and faucet, mingle with the room's traditional design.

Yellow Fever 
Inspired by a playful backsplash of yellow and green, this kitchen's golden glow is as rich as it is deep. A bold hue of mustard yellow on the expansive island is duplicated on the lower cabinets. If you are going for a more subtle look but still want to incorporate an eye-catching color, apply your hue of choice to the island only, and use the same understated finish or color on both the upper and lower perimeter cabinets. For a coordinated look, choose a neutral hue that¿s related to your kicky color. Here, creamy white upper cabinets have a touch of yellow, which helps to bridge the gap between subtle and bold.

Viva Jewel Box Kitchen 
White perimeter cabinets and countertops set a clean-lined stage for a playful emerald green island. Open shelving on one end of the island offers plenty of space for bright cookbooks and large display items. The contrasting butcher-block countertop on the island also heightens the distinction between the island and the rest of the kitchen. Sapphire blue wallpaper with pretty florals adds another splash of jewel tones, creating a color scheme that's rich yet casually preppy.

Robin's-Egg Blue 
A large furniture-style island cloaked in soft robin's-egg blue welcomes family and guests into an impressively detailed kitchen. Crisp white cabinets, a zinc range hood, and gleaming chrome pendant lights pop against the blue island, providing a light and bright atmosphere. Picking up the color of an accent island in accessories adds polish and completes the look. Here, the springy blue repeats on the cafe curtains on the window above the sink.

Gorgeous Gray-Brown 
Fresh color can give a room a hearty update -- without having to be bright and in-your-face. For colors with restrained impact, try saturated neutrals. A moody gray-brown island adds a sense of intrigue, taking center stage in this neutral kitchen. Red patterned stool cushions add a burst of energy.

Fresh Kitchen 
Garden bounty-inspired hues are fresh, flexible, and capable of laying groundwork for a kitchen color palette. With clever storage and a bit of whimsy, the asparagus-green island perks up this kitchen. The color also makes an appearance on perimeter cabinets and trim on the built-in shelves. A muted corn yellow colors the walls, and tomato-red and squash-yellow accessories complete the fresh-from-the garden look.

Fiery Red 
Pump up a kitchen with fiery hues. Red cabinetry frames and a red island energize the kitchen's otherwise neutral color scheme. The central island directs traffic flow while providing space for the cook to work along the back wall. An attached table -- rather than an eating bar -- creates a comfortable spot for homework, chats with friends, and family meals.

Kitchen Pantry Design Ideas

Spacious Walk-In Pantry 
Keep food items on hand and in tip-top shape with an organized kitchen pantry. Walk-in pantry designs allow easy access and storage of nonperishable foods, wine, small appliances, and tableware. Shallow pantry shelves provide easy viewing of food items and help small items stay organized rather than become lost among larger items.

Think Small-Scale 
If your home doesn't have the space -- or the need -- or a full-size kitchen pantry, here's an idea: Create a miniature pantry from unused kitchen cabinet space. This tall cabinet becomes a small pantry for after-school snacks and partyware, so kids and guests aren't underfoot in the kitchen.

Freestanding Pantry Storage 
Who says a kitchen pantry design has to be built-in or out of sight? This freestanding pantry idea, made from industrial-style metal shelving, provides additional storage space in the kitchen. The open shelving design is easy to access while cooking and baking, and it makes taking inventory on food items a snap.

Accessible Location 
Sleek and slim, a recessed pantry squeezed between the kitchen's entry and cooking area keeps food items in one convenient location. A neighboring countertop provides ample prep space within an arm's reach, helping to maintain an efficient prep space.

Reach-In Kitchen Cupboards 
A four-door kitchen pantry is a good alternative when there's not space for a walk-in pantry. Double doors offer easy access, beautifully integrate the pantry into surrounding cabinetry, and protect and conceal contents.

Repurposed Armoire Pantry 
An inexpensive armoire serves as a pantry unit in this small kitchen. New built-in shelves and drawers add to the functionality inside of the pantry, and its exterior was stained a darker color for a more expensive look.

Pantry Storage Accessories 
Accessories such as tray dividers, drawers, baskets, and spice racks are essential for keeping your kitchen pantry organized. In this pantry, the addition of modular drawers with glass-front inserts is a practical touch that allows food items to be stored and identified with ease.

Slim & Savvy Small Pantry 
Placing a pantry cabinet in an adjacent space creates a roomier kitchen. Shelves on the backs of doors maximize pantry cabinet storage. Pullout shelves utilize every inch of pantry space for food, supplies, and small appliances.

Recessed Pantry Design 
The built-in look of recessed-panel kitchen cabinets offers attractive, out-of-sight pantry storage. This recessed pantry design provides a combination of shelf and door storage for spices, dry goods, and small kitchen appliances.

Built-In Pantry Shelving 
Tall cabinet doors open to reveal multiple layers of shelving units in this well-stocked built-in pantry. This pantry idea is efficient in its combination of shallow shelves and door racks. Pantry shelves are shallow to keep food items secure and within easy reach while preparing meals.

Hidden Walk-In Pantry 
Disguised behind a hideaway door made to resemble kitchen cabinetry, this walk-in pantry design presents an abundance of food storage. Open floor-to-ceiling shelves offer a quick view of what's in stock. A countertop located just outside the pantry serves as a designated prep area and place to set down supplies.

Cubby-Style Pantry 
The better you label your food items, the more easily you can organize your kitchen pantry -- and keep it that way. Cabinets fit together to create a cubby-style pantry design with room for both bulk and everyday items in one accessible location. Cabinet organizers allow even kids to keep things neat. Shallow boxes and small bins are easy to take with you into the kitchen to cut down on multiple trips back and forth.

Blend It In 
Serve up more space within the same square footage with a slender pantry design. This kitchen pantry reaches new heights of efficiency, storage, and style when it's shaped around a cozy banquette. Tall wood panels surrounding the banquette create a seamless transition from walls to the pantry cabinet, which is ideal for casual dining storage.

Enlist Vertical Storage 
 Installing a tall pantry with both open shelving and cabinetry amps up the room's storage capacity while adding furniture-style elegance. The 14-inch cabinet depth is just right for storing dry goods and makes taking inventory easy. When using deeper shelves, enlist baskets or shelf dividers to keep storage items organized.

Organize Your Pantry by Zones