Archive for the ‘Kitchen’ Category

Small-Kitchen Storage Idea: Custom Wood Pantry

Friday, January 4th, 2008

custom-sized-pantry.JPGIf you have outgrown your small kitchen but can't afford a major upgrade (a new house or a full kitchen/cabinet remodel), then this idea is for you.

Friends of mine had the same problem, and they solved it by adding this cleverly-designed, custom pantry unit in a (previously) useless area of the kitchen.

expanded-kitchen-storage.JPGWhen you open it up, you are immediately jealous of the immense amount of storage that this crazy thing contains. There are shelves on the outer doors, then you realize that there are also shelves on a tricky set of inner doors. Then you swing those out and a very beefy set of additional shelves is revealed against the back wall of the cabinet. And because it was custom, it is sized to take advantage of the entire nook where it was built. Every inch.

As you can see, they aren't filling this thing up yet, but with five children it won't take long.

Here's the catch. (more…)

Four Feelings that Drive Kitchen Remodels

Monday, December 10th, 2007

Generally it is feelings not functionality that motivates a kitchen remodel. Here are the ones that make it happen:


Kitchen Cabinet Bids: the Nickel and Dime Game

Friday, November 30th, 2007

In my experience the following is a common scenario:

Katy Kitchen is ready for a remodel. She heads out for a day of planning and decision-making.

Stop #1 is a warehouse home-improvement store. Katy spends an hour with a kitchen designer and comes away with a price estimate for her cabinets and counters.

Stop #2 is a small, locally owned kitchen and bath showroom. Katy spends 1-2 hours with a kitchen designer and comes away with a price that's 10% higher than the warehouse store price.

Seems like Katy will get the best deal by going with the big store's offer, right?

Probably Not! (more…)

Precautions for Soffit Removal

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

The kitchen soffit is the “filled-in” section above the cabinets, going up to the ceiling. If you're planning to tear out a kitchen built between 1950 and 1980, there's a good chance you'll also be tearing out a soffit.

Brace yourself: this could get ugly.


Tip for Kitchens with Old Drawers

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

Old kitchen drawers have quirks.

You know. There's that narrow one with the little catch when it's halfway out and the big one that you have to kick to get all the way back in.

And then there's that wonderful “binding” action where you have to maintain perfect straightness or it grinds to a halt.

Yes, this too is an important part of the human experience. But here's a tip from a friend that might help a little. (more…)

Create More Storage Space in your Kitchen

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

From the Oklahoman:

If there's one room in the house that's never big enough, it has to be the kitchen. Wouldn't it be great if there were a simple way to “cook up” extra space without an expensive (and messy) remodel? For do-it-yourselfers, this kitchen island project is an easy, attractive and inexpensive way to add valuable storage and work space.

The article goes on to recommend that do-it-yourselfers buy plans for a kitchen island.

But how realistic is that? (more…)

Stainless Steel and Fingerprints

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

I just had an interesting conversation with an old client. He is now retired but was formerly the VP for sales at Jenn-Air.

He called to ask about me doing some custom cabinetry relative to a new wine rack/cooler or something, but he happened to mention that all of his appliances were black because…

“We (Jenn-Air) did extensive testing and research on the fingerprint problem with Stainless Steel. We never could find a workable solution.”

Kitchen Showrooms Sell Custom Cabinets, Right?

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

Generally, no. They typically sell manufactured cabinets that might be built across the country or around the world. Other posts in my kitchen category explain why this is an economic necessity and why it doesn't mean a compromise of quality.

Occasionally kitchen showrooms may commission a custom piece to complete a design, but generally they make much more money on the factory (pre-designed) woodwork.

Why Custom Cabinets for a Kitchen No Longer Make Sense

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

It is easy to idealize the past.

I remember watching the “Secret Wedding” scene of Braveheart, where the couple is wed by a priest under the moonlight, afterwards retiring to a mossy rock with a valley or waterfall, etc spread below them. They're naked, of course. They're having a grand old time, as you might imagine.

But what about the mosquitoes? (more…)

Kitchen Appliances, Layout, and Flooring

Monday, August 28th, 2006

Here's a reality check for those of you planning a kitchen remodel. You need to think about where the heavy kitchen appliances and cabinets are located on your layout, and then do due diligence to assure that your flooring system is up to the task. Don't assume that the kitchen designer will do this for you. (more…)