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Important Things to Consider Before Adding a New Kitchen Island

One of the main things that a homebuyer is looking for in a new home is an updated kitchen. A kitchen island is actually one of the things that most people look for in a new home. Even if you are not selling your home, you may want to think about having one added to your kitchen as the benefits are many. However, there are several important things that you will need to consider before you add a kitchen island.

Size and Shape
The first consideration for the addition of a new kitchen island is whether or not you actually have room for it. There is nothing worse than a kitchen that is too crowded, but if you are adamant about having one consider installing one in a less than traditional shape. It is not written anywhere that one must be rectangular. The important thing is that you have enough room to move around your kitchen with ease. If an odd-shaped design is the only thing you can use to make it work than this may be the solution for you.

Storage Capacity
A great benefit of a kitchen island is that it can provide you with a lot more storage space in your kitchen. When designing your island, take into account how much extra storage space you need. As stated above, you do want to make sure the size of your island does not disrupt the efficiency of the kitchen, but you do want to make sure you are able to have some storage space underneath it.

Seating Capacity
Another thing to consider when adding a new kitchen island is whether or not you wish to utilize the island for extra seating. In many homes, the kitchen island is the place where the first cup of coffee is enjoyed in the morning or an informal dinner is served in the evening. You will want to plan ahead for the amount and type of use it is going to get.

Additional Features
When adding a new island kitchen, you also want to consider what additional features you want to give you the maximum efficiency in your kitchen. Many choose to have plumbing installed in it so they can add in another sink. This is especially beneficial if you do a lot of cooking. Along with this, you may want to consider having electric outlets in the island, as it would provide you additional space for any kitchen appliances.

Adding a new kitchen island is not just going to improve the value and appearance of your home. It will actually help you to create a more efficient workspace for cooking and can provide you with additional seating. As long as you keep the above things in mind, especially the size and shape of your new island, you will find it will give your family a lot of enjoyment.

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One Very Popular Kitchen Remodeling Trend in Maryland

One of the hottest new trends in kitchen remodeling in Maryland is actually taking place outdoors. Many homeowners in Maryland are opting to build fully functioning outdoor kitchens. Outdoor kitchens, you may say, are nothing new. Build a campfire. Make a hanging food pantry to discourage hungry bears. Line a cardboard box with foil and hot coals to make a reflector oven. No big deal.

Sure, that has worked for eons in the great outdoors. However, could you, or would you even want to have such a setup permanently in your back yard?

Probably not. Unless you (a) Live in the country and (b) frequently invite Boy Scouts over to prepare dinner.

But what about a more modern outdoor kitchen? One as simple as a grill and countertop, maybe? Or one equipped with those basics, plus a seating area, sink, rotisserie, refrigerator and smoker?

Granted, those more elaborate setups aren’t commonplace in Maryland. The closest the majority of us come to having an outdoor kitchen is a grill and picnic table outside the back door. Nevertheless, they’re beginning to become more and more popular in Maryland. For those with the means, an outdoor kitchen offers up a great way to expand ones entertaining space while taking advantage of the great weather during much of the year.

Often times, homeowners and designers strive to tie an outdoor kitchen in with the general décor of the house, while at the same time doing something fun with the kitchen and seating area. To that end, outdoor countertops and tile floors are often made from same material as found on their indoor counterparts, creating a seamless transition from inside to out.

When dealing with outdoor environments, care must be taken when selecting materials for appliances and various finishes. Stainless steel is usually selected for outdoor grills because it won’t rust. Likewise, redwood cabinets are protected from the weather and the elements.

If rain does happen to be falling, many outdoor kitchens are designed so that guests can eat on tables that – like the kitchen itself – are fully covered. Sometimes homeowners put an additional kitchen inside their poolside cabanas where the cooking and eating areas are also completely enclosed.

Either way, an outdoor kitchen doesn’t come cheap. Many outdoor kitchen designs start at around $25,000. More elaborate, open-air constructions can cost the homeowner about $100,000 for the structure, appliances, bathroom and outdoor fireplace.

Not surprisingly, price is probably the No. 1 reason more people don’t have an outdoor kitchen.  Plus, with weather in Maryland, an outdoor kitchen can only be used about half the year.

Still, an outdoor kitchen could be built less expensively. For example, it could be built on an existing patio. The
grill wouldn’t have to be so fancy. (Whichever kind you decide on, make sure it’s placed so smoke blows away from the eating area). Moreover, while a grill and countertop are necessities, a sink and refrigerator aren’t. (But they sure come in handy).

For more information on Maryland kitchen remodeling, go here: http://www.bizzibid.com/md/kitchen/

Two Contemporary Kitchen Remodeling Ideas Trending in Arizona

When it comes to kitchen remodeling in Arizona, comfort and style are the key requisites. Homeowners naturally want their homes to retain the best of Southwest style but want to include components that reflect modern sensibilities as well. Some of the most popular kitchen remodeling projects are those that capture the beauty of the Grand Canyon State, with technologies and materials that add comfort, convenience and sophisticated style. Here are two of the hottest remodeling ideas currently trending in Arizona.

Greening Up the Kitchen

Homeowners are increasingly opting for green renovations, kitchen remodeling projects that help save the earth’s resources and that through monthly savings from reduced energy costs, put a bit of green in the homeowner’s pocket as well. Government rebate programs can make installing products like Energy Star appliances or energy-efficient windows even more affordable.

Green materials for kitchen countertops and flooring are popular options as well. Versatile, stylish and functional, glass is a popular choice for backsplashes and countertops. Made from silica, a substance found in sand, glass counters become even more eco-friendly when formed with glass from recycled bottles and car windshields.

Wood remains a favorite renewable material for flooring but bamboo and cork are gaining in popularity as well. A grass that can renew itself in a single growing season, bamboo is a green material that offers a chic modern style. Cork, a material that is harvested from the bark of the cork tree without disturbing its growth, is soft underfoot, offering a tactile texture to kitchens.

Arizona Rooms

Many Arizona homeowners are expanding their kitchens into covered patio spaces, sometimes called Arizona rooms, creating more space and offering outdoor cooking opportunities in the heat of summer. Whether installing a traditional kiva fireplace or a modern high-tech grill, semi-outdoor kitchens offer families a way to enjoy cooking and entertaining throughout the year.

While homeowners aiming for a contemporary style may give nods to traditional Southwest décor, with architectural details like corbels, vigas or latillas, they’re conscious that a few Southwest decorating elements go a long way. The modern reinterpretation of the Southwest style is more likely to be achieved with a color palette that reflects the beauty of the Arizona’s earth and sky, with sleek, streamlined forms inspired by the landscape’s expansive vistas.

A remodeling project that includes installing windows that offer scenic views of the great outdoors gives homeowners opportunities to accentuate the outdoor feeling with wood cabinets, stone countertops and other natural elements. Decorative ceramic tile applications over the kitchen’s sink or stove add a note of Southwest style without overwhelming a sleek, modern style.

Contemporary kitchen remodeling in Arizona may feature ultra-chic, modern technology but is also likely to reflect elements of nature as well. It’s the combination of a Southwest sensibility and a modern aesthetic that gives contemporary kitchens in Arizona a sophisticated, welcoming and unique style. For more information on Arizona remodeling contractors go here: http://www.bizzibid.com/arizona/

2 Modern, Do It Yourself (DIY) Kitchen Backsplash Ideas

Lately you’ve been thinking that your kitchen seems a bit dated. Although you dream about designing and installing a brand new modernized kitchen, like many people these days, you may not be able to afford a complete kitchen remodel. Well, you basically have two choices: You could just decide to live with it the way it is for now, or you could try an inexpensive do it yourself (DIY) update to bring your kitchen decor into this decade.

Before you start ripping up floors or taking down cabinets, it is important to understand both the costs and skill level required for the project you choose. Flooring and cabinetry can be quite expensive, even for the handiest DIY remodeler. If you are looking for a simple and inexpensive update, then these projects are probably best left for another time. However, a simple project such as updating the backsplash could be just what your kitchen needs to give it a whole new appearance.

Depending on your skill level and your budget, the materials and methods you could choose from to update your backsplash are seemingly endless. More traditional options would include materials such as ceramic tile or wallpaper. However, if you are looking for something more modern, perhaps glass tile or stainless steel would be your best bet.

Many modern kitchen backsplash designs use glass tile as a way to add an accent color with a bit of texture to the room. The tiles range in size from the very small (about 1 inch squares) to much larger subway tiles (about 3 inch by 6 inch rectangles). The larger tiles would work well if your backsplash is quite large. However, if you are working with a small space, the smaller square tiles would be your best choice. Either way, glass tiles would work well with existing wood or laminate cabinetry.

Stainless steel is another material that is very popular in modern kitchens. You’ve probably seen all of the newer appliances that are available with this finish. But if new appliances just aren’t in your budget, you could try updating your backsplash with this modern finish. Similar to glass tiles, stainless steel tiles are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. This option would also work well with existing wood or laminate cabinetry. Furthermore, as stainless steel is more neutral, it may be a better choice than colorful glass if your existing kitchen already has an extensive color palette

Either of these two options would be a great, inexpensive way to give your kitchen a fresh, modern look. However, whether you choose glass tile or stainless steel, the most important things to remember are to measure accurately before you purchase your supplies and to follow the manufacturers instructions for surface preparation and proper installation.

Also, be sure to shop around before you make your purchase. Since you’ll be doing the installation yourself, you aren’t limited to buying from expensive specialty stores. Check out the clearance aisles of larger home improvement stores, since you only need a small amount compared to someone tiling an entire floor or wall, you may find just what you’re looking for at a fraction of the original cost. Online discount outlets are always a good bet as well. Just be sure to read the fine print to make certain you understand what you’re getting, or if there are any hidden shipping or delivery charges.

Creating Space in a Small Kitchen

Are you living in a home with a small kitchen? Are you desperately looking for ways to make this space seem bigger and more inviting? I recently came across a blog post that offers several suggestions for creating the illusion of more space in a kitchen.

  • Lighting – The lighting in a kitchen is a detail that is often overlooked, yet it can have a huge impact on how the space appears. Task lighting and under cabinet lighting are two ways to add extra lighting in your kitchen while also showcasing some of the details in the space. Natural light from replacement windows is another way to make your kitchen look more open and bring a little bit of the outdoors in.
  • Paint – Lighter rooms will generally feel much larger. Keep this in mind when choosing paint colors for the walls in your kitchen and for your kitchen cabinets, if you choose to paint them as well. Go with light blues, greens and yellows on the walls for a light and airy feel.
  • Details – The smallest details can make a big difference on how large or small a kitchen feels. Glass front cabinets and patterned backsplashes are stylish and can make the space appear more open. The way the flooring is installed also plays a role, such as making the room looking more expansive just by choosing larger tiles.

Keep these elements in mind if you are taking on a kitchen remodeling project in a smaller space.

The Average Cost of Cabinet Refacing

Cabinets are the most visible part of your kitchen. If your cabinets are scuffed, worn down, or just look band, your whole kitchen will look bad. Sometimes your cabinets are well built and work wonderfully, but the doors look old and beat.

Cabinet refacing (aka cabinet resurfacing) is a great way to update the look of your kitchen without going through the whole expense of a cabinet replacement project. Great looking cabinets make your whole kitchen look beautiful. Another great thing about cabinet refacing is that the work can be completed in just a few days.

If the structure of your cabinets is sound, but the cabinets need cosmetic help, cabinet refacing is a great option. The big question is, how much will it cost? Updating your existing cabinets is often much less expensive than installing new cabinets, since your existing cabinets have already been built, installed, leveled, and are already functional. On average, cabinet refacing costs between 30% and 60% less than installing new cabinets.

An average cabinet refacing project can cost roughly $7,500, but it could be considerably less (or more) depending on the size of the job. Also, different contractors can have very different prices. That’s why it’s a good idea to shop around and get a handful of estimates before settling on a single contractor.

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