pastapotfiller

Recommended Small Kitchen, Small Budget Design Ideas

Designing the perfect kitchen is already challenging, but it’s even tougher when you have very little space and a tight budget ..

Small Kitchen Design Essentials

When designing the kitchen-of-your-dreams, there are plenty of features and functionality every homeowner would love to have. However, unfortunately, your budget can get eaten up pretty quickly. What is worth the investment? Here are 10 small kitchen design must-haves that add luxury without breaking your bank.

1. Under Cabinet Lighting: This particular feature adds both ambient lighting and task lighting. And if they are dimmable, can serve as a nightlight as well. Under-cabinet LED lights are also energy efficient, and investment, therefore, that saves money over time on utility costs.

2. Hidden Outlets: Your kitchen is required to have a particular number of outlets, to be up to municipal codes. It can be frustrating to have to install them right in the middle of a beautiful backsplash. Homeowners are opting for under cabinet outlets, or retractable outlets that lift up out of the counter.

3. Appliance Garages: Kitchen counters can get cluttered quickly with toasters, coffee pots, blenders or mixers. The appliance garage is the solution. It conveniently stores all your small appliances, so that they are both out of the way, but easily accessible.

4. Glass Doors: Glass cabinet doors are a great option for displaying unique plates or glassware. However, they also offer a convenient, dust-free open option for organizing everyday items.

5. Open Shelving: Open shelving is a trend that has grown and remained popular in the kitchen. It is an artistic way to display not only dishes but canisters, books, even dry goods.

6. Hanging Pot and Utensil Racks: Keep your pots and pans and utensils conveniently stored and accessible. This storage can also create an attractive focal design element within the kitchen.

7. Recycling: Many counties have made it increasingly easier for folks to recycle. As a result, designers are building organized recycling centers right into the kitchen.

8. Double Ovens: In many instances, two really is better than one. If you do a lot of entertaining, or you have a large family, two ovens are almost a necessity.

9. Separate Ice Maker: While this seems like a bit of a luxury, it serves to free up valuable storage space in the freezer. In addition, you will never run out of ice at an inopportune moment again!

10. Pasta Pot Faucet: It can be tricky filling a large pot with water then carrying it over to the stove. Therefore, many homeowners are opting for a built-in pasta pot faucet mounted right at the stove. It is a functional yet elegant design feature.

energy efficient kitchen design

Improving Air Quality In The Kitchen – Starts With The Design



Air quality matters in every room of the house, but unique factors are in play where cooking takes place

What a range hood does is largely invisible, but that doesn’t make its impact any less important. Kitchen contaminants can compromise a home’s indoor air quality (IAQ) and consequently, the occupants’ health. Pollutants emitted from ovens, microwaves, and cooktop burners during cooking may include carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, and other volatile organic compounds. That makes addressing IAQ a critical health and safety issue. In addition to safety risks associated with carbon monoxide, some compounds emitted during cooking can contribute to asthma and allergies; others are known carcinogens.

The Department of Energy is taking steps to improve residential indoor air quality by supporting research aimed at creating an integrated, balanced whole-house ventilation system, where kitchen exhaust ventilation solutions are consistently rather than erratically implemented. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, there is a common misconception that kitchen exhaust isn’t necessary during cooking. Many people only turn on the range hood fan when they detect odors or when smoke or large volumes of steam are visible. But indoor air quality is affected by gas burners, ovens, and grills, even if the occupants can’t sense a problem.

Another issue is the lack of consistent kitchen ventilation in today’s homes. A report published by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) titled, “Addressing Kitchen Contaminants for Healthy, Low-Energy Homes,” estimates that just 25 percent of the country’s population lives in states whose building codes require kitchen exhaust.

The Wish List For Homeowners:

The LBNL report identifies several strategies for encouraging wider adoption of effective kitchen-exhaust ventilation. Among the market-side strategies are building codes and increased public awareness.

Below is a list of suggested technological improvements.

Better microwave range hoods: Compact and affordable over-the-range microwave ovens combined with range hoods are popular among homeowners. Yet no microwave range hoods currently comply with either the Energy Star Certified Exhaust Fans standard or ASHRAE 62.2 standard for spot ventilation. In addition, few microwave range hoods include sound or airflow ratings certified by the Home Ventilating Institute. For manufacturers, developing a compliant microwave/range hood combination unit should be a top-priority product innovation.

Range hoods integrated with makeup supply air: Range hoods are powerful fans that can depressurize homes, especially when operated for long periods. This can result in moisture and contaminants being pulled into the home. The DOE is developing a system to introduce makeup air using an integrated, balanced whole-house ventilation system. Controls would ensure that a damper in the balanced ventilation system opens a supply duct near the kitchen range when the range hood is operated. Range hoods that reduce the amount of conditioned indoor air exhausted and improve air quality and building durability by mitigating house depressurization need to be available to consumers. In addition, there’s a need for a greater selection of quiet, affordable, energy-efficient, and effective range hoods.

Automatic shutoff: Exhaust systems can create a condition in which the pressure inside the home is lower than the pressure outside; this depressurization can result in the backdraft of combustion gases into the living space. Range hoods equipped with timers that shut the fan off after a preset time (for example, 30 minutes) could lessen this problem. Range hoods with timers would improve IAQ and confer modest energy benefits.

Onboard diagnostics: Commissioning range hoods is notoriously difficult. Incorporating accurate, reliable diagnostic sensors into range hoods—modeled after automobile onboard diagnostics—would help with design and would allow for ongoing monitoring once the appliance is installed. Sensors could measure performance characteristics such as airflow, static pressure, and power consumption. These would likely be hidden from the end user, but technicians could access the data and troubleshoot problems.

Smart hoods: Range hoods that operate automatically when needed have the potential to greatly reduce the health impacts caused by exposure to kitchen pollutants. Potential mechanisms include particle counters and heat and/or humidity sensors, or direct-wired or wireless tie-in to range controls. One challenge is getting manufacturers to develop smart hoods that are compatible with all ranges, regardless of brand; these features would need to be certified to a standard that has yet to be established.

Integration with whole-home ventilation: Increasingly, codes are requiring whole-home ventilation that follow standards such as ASHRAE 62.2. Smart ventilation saves energy by reducing total whole-house ventilation, which adjusts exhaust-fan operation in coordination with other household equipment such as bathroom fans, kitchen range-hood fans, clothes dryers, and central vacuums. It improves indoor air quality by scheduling whole-house ventilation in response to outdoor temperature, humidity, and contaminants. This solution has been demonstrated in a prototype called the Residential Integrated Ventilation Controller (RIVEC) and is commercially available.

Low-energy options: There are few low-energy options for effectively removing cooking pollutants. Yet, as other loads are reduced through improvements in energy efficiency, kitchen exhaust products will need to become more efficient as well. Kitchen ventilation should be designed as one component of an integrated home ventilation system tailored to a specific home type and climate. Advanced kitchen ventilation systems will need to be developed for common home types and climates. The systems could include balanced ventilation with heat capture, low-flow/high-capture efficiency designs, or a recirculating hood that includes effective pollutant filtration.

indoor air quality index

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Most Wanted Features and Colors In Kitchens by Homeowners

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What are the features and colors included in kitchens of newly constructed homes? Data from Houzz, combined with information from the 2016 Builder Practices Survey, provides insight.

The 2016 Builder Practices Survey (BPS) is a national survey of homebuilders, conducted by Home Innovation Research Labs, that captures valuable information on the product features included in new residential construction, both single-family and multifamily.

It is a robust survey of 1,381 respondents who built single-family detached units and 199 respondents who built multifamily or single-family attached units (i.e. townhomes). Results are available on national and regional levels.

Analyzing the BPS can uncover interesting trends in the construction of new kitchens, such as countertop material type, cabinet type, and appliances.

Although the BPS covers a broad range of topics, it does not touch upon the color themes of kitchens in new construction. Houzz, an online platform dedicated to home remodeling and design, conducted an online survey on this very topic. Its survey asked recent buyers of newly constructed homes about the colors themes in their kitchens. The survey is national in scope and had 203 respondents.

Combining data from the BPS with the Houzz survey can provide powerful information on what today’s new kitchens look like. The following provides a snapshot of the 2015 product features and color themes included in kitchens of newly constructed single-family homes:

Countertops & Backsplashes Installed

Granite countertops are overwhelmingly the most popular with 64 percent of new homes having this material type. It is no surprise that only 14 percent of new homes have laminate countertops. Based on NAHB’s Consumer Preference Survey report, laminate countertops are the least desired kitchen feature and are likely only installed when affordability is a major concern. Besides these material types, 9 percent each of new homes have engineered stone and solid-surface countertops.

The Houzz survey provides insight on countertop color. Figure 2 displays the countertop color of those who have granite countertops, the most popular countertop material. Three color choices stand out: 30 percent of respondents have multi-colored countertops, 26 percent have white, and 18 percent have black. Twenty-six percent reported some other color, or were not sure about their countertop color.

In addition to countertop material color, buyers also noted the color of their backsplashes (Figure 3). Twenty-six percent of respondents reported having white backsplashes, 13 percent reported beige, 12 percent reported multi-colored, and 6 percent reported gray. Forty-three percent reported some other color, or were not sure of their backsplash color.

Cabinetry Chosen

Wood-based cabinets are the most common, but there is variation in the panel type of wood cabinets. Sixty percent of new homes have raised panel wood cabinets, compared to 25 percent that have flat panel wood cabinets. Only 5 percent of new homes have laminate cabinets, and the remaining 10 percent consists of various other types, such as glass cabinets. The most popular color is white (34 percent), followed by wood – medium tone (20 percent), gray (9 percent), wood – dark tone (7 percent), and multi-colored (6 percent).

Appliances Installed

Cooktops and ranges are almost always provided in new kitchens with 97 percent of new homes having these features. Features that are also commonly installed include dishwashers (92 percent), microwave ovens and garbage disposals (both 84 percent); and refrigerators and freezer (65 percent).

Items less frequently installed in new homes include clothes dryers and washers (36 and 34 percent, respectively), wall ovens (18 percent), hot water re-circulation piping (17 percent), water softeners and central vacuum systems (both 13 percent); hot water dispensers and standby generators (both 8 percent); trash compactors (4 percent), and elevators (2 percent).

The combination of data from the BPS and the Houzz survey provides a sense of what new kitchens look like. New kitchens tend to have granite countertops, raised panel wood cabinets, and come with a standard set of appliances, such as cooktops & ranges, microwaves, dishwashers and garbage disposals. New kitchens also have white, multi-colored, or wood-based color themes, and are complemented by “stainless steel” appliances.

 

Sources:

(1) 2016 Annual Builder Practices Report

(2) HOUZZ

(3) HOUZZ

(4) 2016 Annual Builder Practices Report

(5) HOUZZ

(6) 2016 Annual Builder Practices Report

(7) HOUZZ

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Costly Kitchen Mistakes to Avoid

July 11, 2016

General contractors do their best to keep jobs in line and on budget but want consumers to know that the process is a two-way street. A survey of 300 general contractors nationwide published by Consumer Reports in June 2016 detailed seven kitchen remodeling mistakes made by consumers that are guaranteed to cause problems for homeowners. Among them:

  • Changing your mind. Nearly 60 percent of contractors said that the No. 1 way to drive up costs is for homeowners to introduce changes after a project begins. Changes increase costs by an average of 10 percent.
  • Skipping the background check. Consumers who hire unlicensed contractors forfeit protections from their state licensing board. Licensed contractors are legally obligated to guarantee their work. The survey also found that licensed contractors are better at holding down costs when unexpected problems arise.
  • Using open-ended contracts. Contracts that lack details regarding materials and specific start and end dates leave consumers vulnerable to remodelers who may become distracted by another project mid-job.
  • Forgetting functionality. For example, rangehoods work much better at removing smoke and odors than does the built-in ventilation of an over-the-range microwave; undercabinet lighting helps eliminate shadows on kitchen counter workspaces; and drawers in base cabinets help maximize storage.
  • Relying on rough sketches. Vague, rough sketches do little to thoroughly address design challenges. Using 3-D drawings helps consumers visualize the space and identify traffic-flow problems, such as whether circulation is blocked when the fridge door is open. Virtual-reality software lets consumers immerse themselves in the new space before work ever begins.

About the Author


David Weissman is associate editor for Professional Remodeler. dweissman@sgcmail.com (link sends e-mail)
bathroom remodeling

Biggest Kitchen & Bath Trends For 2016

Amy Albert, Editor-in-Chief, Professional Builder

The hit TV series Downton Abbey was an entertaining reminder of many facts of history, including that, even in the grandest English homes, the kitchen was once a humble workroom (ample counter space for elaborate meal prep by Mrs. Patmore and Daisy notwithstanding). In American homes, the kitchen was long seen as humble, too: It had low-quality finishes, little daylight, and was isolated from the rest of the house.

“Now, you can’t get your guests to leave it,” says architect Mark Larson, principal of Rehkamp Larson Architects, in Minneapolis. Living room, command central, and the place where the best gabfests always seem to happen, the kitchen’s importance endures as gathering spot and showplace, even if its owners are less than diehard cooks.

Now the ante for baths has been upped as well. No longer just a room for life’s necessities, baths are a place to unwind, escape, and indulge. They feature soothing lighting, sculptural soaking tubs, amply sized showers, and cozy places to sit. High-end designers in warm-weather climates report increased demand for master baths that connect to a private outdoor shower. Tech, which entered the kitchen years ago, has made its way into the bath, too, with steam showers that can control temperature, lighting, and sound, and toilets with integrated bidets and adjustable settings. For holding the attention of new-home seekers, kitchens and baths both loom large. Here are the trends worth knowing about for their beauty, practicality, and appeal to buyers.

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Kitchen Cabinets: Trends to Watch

October 27, 2015

There was broad consensus among our sources—both manufacturers and industry pros—on current and coming cabinetry trends. To begin with, some trends, such as concern for sustainability, aren’t really trends at all. When it comes to the role of sustainability in consumers’ cabinetry purchasing decisions, most manufacturers we spoke with say that environmental stewardship is just good business and is now assumed to be the norm rather than being a brand differentiator. But, as several industry experts pointed out, consumers are aware of making healthy buying decisions and want products that are low-VOC. Cabinet manufacturer Cabico’s business development manager, Marco Robert, says that environmental considerations are a selling point in the growing popularity of laminates, too.

Though consumers are starting to loosen their purse strings as the economy rebounds, they aren’t necessarily channeling that money into fancier cabinets, remodelers told us. As Normandy Remodeling designer Liz Reifschneider points out, “We’re far from the heyday of 2005,” and rather than splurging on kitchen cabinets, the Chicago-area remodeler’s clients are opting to do more extensive renovations on their homes. At RI Kitchen & Bath, in Warwick, R.I., Tanya Donahue, VP of sales and marketing, says that clients will make concessions on cabinetry quality to afford the overall look they want.

Top 3 Cabinetry Trends

1. Light neutrals: White is still going strong (for example, Merillat’s Dove White finish continues to be one of the company’s best-selling paints and dominates all markets in the U.S.) and neutral hues continue to be an anchoring color trend in cabinets, with grey gaining more ground as a “new neutral.”

2. Contemporary style: Even in more traditional markets, modern styling, such as slab and Shaker doors, is growing in popularity, reflecting a preference for less molding and a sleeker aesthetic.

3. Rustic modern: Mixing materials and textures, pairing streamlined looks with rustic accents, such as reclaimed wood, to create a clean yet rich, textured effect.

Decorating in Blue

The color blue can be bold and bright or soft and soothing. Get inspired by these looks starring blue, and find your favorite shade for decorating.

Adding color to a room doesn’t have to involve paint. White walls and whitewash furniture in this entryway create a gentle backdrop for a collection of cool blue accessories and decorative elements. A vase filled with orange roses adds a splash of contrasting color for visual interest.

More From Better Homes and Gardens

Creating a Color Scheme-Read More

5 Reasons to Remodel Your Home This Year

Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 12:44PM AuthorMeghan Mikoski |

Another year…another another new start.  It is the perfect time to make a change in your home.  How many times have you said you’re going to remodel your kitchen, but never actually got around to starting?  Now that the Times Square ball has dropped, make sure you don’t drop the ball on honoring this year’s resolution.

Sure, there are 1,001 excuses you can come up with to talk yourself out of your goals, and while we have 1,001 rebuttals to those excuses, we’ll just go ahead and leave you with the top 5 reasons why this year is the time to remodel your home.

Remodel your home this year

Here’s why:

  1. It’s a buyer’s market – The housing market is still down and that means dealers and suppliers are willing to work with you more than ever before.  Prices should be more in your favor, and because business isn’t as slamming as before, your project will be their main focus.
  2. Survival of the fittest – The economy has been brutal on kitchen and bath dealers leaving many of them forced to shut their dealership doors.  That means that the dealer you choose to work with has survived.  In this market, anyone with bad business practices and poor customer service would have slim to no chance of survival, so you should be confident in the one that is still here to help.
  3. You’re not moving – Chances are you’re not selling your house any time soon.  Why not fix up your kitchen now so that you can enjoy it for the next couple years?  If you do end up selling at that time, you’ll get a better return with a good remodel.  Enjoy your kitchen while you have to stay, and make money on the remodel later.  It’s a win-win situation.
  4. Invest now to save later – There are many remodel options that end up paying for themselves in the long run such as energy efficient appliances that save you money on water and electricity.  So although you may not want to put forth money on a remodel, a green kitchen can be worth your while and help you save.
  5. Interest rates low – If you have good credit and are looking to remodel your kitchen or bath, act now while home equity interest rates are in your favor.  They’ve been at a historic low, so chances are, the only direction they’ll go from now on is up.

So if you think about it, there is really no better time to remodel than now in many cases.  So instead of wasting a good New Year’s resolution on a fitness goal that you’ll forget about in a month, resolve to remodel your kitchen while everything is in your favor.