Ideas for Great Kitchens

How the kitchen looks, how it greets you each morning and its functionality are important. That’s why paying attention to details such as kitchen cabinets reaps such great rewards. Just as a friendly smile is welcoming, so to are handsome kitchen cabinets.

This week, we’ll show you how to choose the best quality cabinets that you can reasonably afford. We’ll do this as we review the book, Ideas for Great Kitchens.

Cabinets are generally manufactured and sold in three different ways. The type you choose will affect both the cost and appearance of your finished kitchen.

Stock cabinets are mass produced, standard-sized cabinets. While purchased “off the shelf,” you can always specify door styles, the direction they swing as well as finishing details.

Custom cabinets are, in turn, more expensive. Made by professional cabinet makers, these cabinets can accommodate non-standard configurations and complexities that can’t be handled with stock modular cabinets.

Custom “modular” cabinets combine the best of both worlds. While still manufactured, they are of a higher grade and offer more design flexibility than stock cabinets.

Whichever model you choose, you must still judge for quality. While not always easy, you can usually look to a cabinet’s drawers to find elements of fine workmanship. Literally a cabinet within a cabinet, drawers take a greater beating than any other cabinet component. As such, they offer the first signs of sub-standard quality.

Look for drawer guides that run smoothly. Check that the drawers are properly aligned and make note of whether or not they fully or only partially open.

Because cabinet costs can vary so greatly, determine a budget before shopping. You’ll quickly find a range of cabinets whose prices you can afford. You can then begin judging for quality and looking for a style that suits you and your kitchen.

For other great kitchen renovation ideas, read our book, Ideas for Great Kitchens. Its 96 pages include design basics, measuring guidelines, actual case studies from 18 remodeled kitchens as well as a shopper’s guide for everything from cabinets to counter tops.

If you plan to do much of the renovation work yourself, ask for our book, the Kitchen Remodeling Handbook. It will guide you through even the most complete kitchen makeover.

Quick kitchen cures

Looking for ways to dress up your kitchen quickly for far less than the cost of a complete makeover?

Here are three tips to do just that. All are taken from one book, Ideas for Great Kitchens. n Replace a counter top. Counter tops are not only the most used and abused aspect of any kitchen, they also go a long way in giving your kitchen character. For example, while wooden counter tops provide a warm country feel, white counter tops are known to liven up a dull kitchen. n Change your lights, both for practical and esthetic reasons. Use large bright lights for cooking but switch to soft track lighting or under the cabinet lighting to accent the style of your kitchen when all the cooking and cleaning is done. n Change floors. Linoleum flooring is now available in all sorts of designer styles. Wood flooring provides added comfort for long days spent standing in the kitchen, for more information, please visit this website.

Beautiful kitchen cabinets can completely update a tired, old kitchen.

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