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>> Kitchen Remodeling Ideas >> Spice up your kitchen design


Spice up your kitchen design

Author: Marv Shidler
Last updated: Oct. 31, 2009

According to a recent survey by Jenn-Aire, the kitchen has become the “living room of the new century.” Many of those surveyed use their kitchens not only to cook and clean but also to relax with family and friends. Modern kitchen designs have had to adapt to meet these changing needs. That is why the kitchen is now as consciously decorated as any other room in the home.

The key to creating a kitchen that makes a personal statement is in the custom touches that allow the homeowner's individuality to show through. But to most of us, the word “custom” immediately suggests greater expense. Look below for custom details that can give a dramatic facelift to an existing kitchen or add flair to an entirely new kitchen without adding great expense.

For a kitchen facelift:

Create a feeling of space by eliminating any soffits above existing cabinets.

Place low-voltage mini-light systems in the newly opened display areas above the cabinets.

Mount recess lights in the ceiling above cabinets and over sink and range areas.

Add decorative crown molding to the top edge of cabinets to give a sense of height and to add visual interest.

Replace dark-colored flooring, countertops, and appliances with lighter colors that create more sense of space.

If you are planning a new kitchen:

Mix less expensive stock cabinets with a few custom units, for example, use custom cabinets for an island.

Install 42” high wall units or add one or two layers of crown molding to standard 30” units.

Create a hutch with 12” wall units placed on the floor and elevated by a 4” toe kick. Top with ceramic tile or a granite top. Mount another set of glass-doored units above.

For a rustic or arts and crafts look, mix wood tones within a run of cabinets.

Use a slightly different tone of stain on an island cabinet to give it a furniture look.

Mount doors or face frames on the exposed ends of cabinets.

Stagger the height and depth of cabinets; pull some in or out a few inches, push some up or down to give visual interest.

Push sink or oven cabinet forward 2” and install angled paneling connectors to the exposed sides.

Vary the height of countertops ; for example, lower an area used for food preparation or eating.

An easy way to create an octagonal island is by using corner wall units for the four corners and adding standard wall units to achieve the desired length.

Break up a run of cabinets with smaller wall units surrounded on both sides by open display shelving.

Place a wall cabinet with glass doors and glass shelves with the back panel removed in front of a window for a dramatic display area that also brightens the room.

Install pocket doors between the kitchen and other rooms so you have the option of shutting the cooking area from the rest of the house.

Let your imagination go and get ready to enjoy a kitchen with function and personality.