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Kitchen Design

When it comes to turning your dream kitchen into a reality you may decide that working with a professional is the way to go. For kitchen design and construction, an architect or an independent CKD (certified kitchen designer) is the best place to start. His or her advice will be unbiased, and will help you in determining what will look best in your kitchen.

Not all architects are willing to construct a domestic kitchen. The best way to find an architect is through personal recommendations. If this approach does not work, then consult your local chapter of the AIA. They will be able to provide you with information about architects in your area. It is essential that you and your architect work well together and share similar tastes when it comes to design.

Once you have hired an architect, he/she will measure the space for the kitchen and produce a survey drawing, to show the area that already exists. Then, after talking with your architect the two of you should agree upon style, function, and budget for the project. This agreement then becomes the basis for the production drawings which the architect will now begin to draw up. These drawings show how the finished kitchen will look; and a specification, which not only describes how it is to be built but includes such details as a start up and completion date, which parts of the house the builders may use and how and a payment schedule. Then it is your architects job to shepherding the plans through the proper channels for permitting. Once any changes that have been made are incorporated into the drawings, the architect then gets the costs from the builders. The architect must then recommend a builder and a price.

In this plan, we kept the pass-through counter but added a larger refrigerator and reconfigured the surrounding cabinets to make them more practical. By adding a center island with a sink and dishwasher, we were able to make better use of the kitchen's floor space and create a dedicated area for after-meal cleanup. The wall previously occupied by the pellet stove now features the range and microwave with wall-hung and base cabinets for added storage and counter space. Along the back wall (adjacent to the patio doors) we added a wall of base cabinets and a countertop to create a wet bar, complete with a bar sink and under-counter wine refrigerator. We've also added a second window on the back wall to provide balance and improve both light and views.

Mission: To give a small, outdated kitchen improved efficiency, better storage, updated appliances and a great fresh look. Relocating the refrigerator and moving the sink to the corner made meal prep and cleanup easier. Located behind the sink, the stainless drying rack takes advantage of unused space. Replacing outdated appliances with newer models saved both space and energy. A compact 18" dishwasher, a self-vented microwave/speed oven (wall-mounted above a 30" range) and an 18-cu.-ft. refrigerator with bottom-mount freezer all proved smart solutions. Refreshing the kitchen with a neutral, two-toned color scheme makes the space seem larger, as do the glass-fronted cabinets. Clutter is kept to a minimum with a row of wall hooks and customized cabinet organizers.

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Add extra work space and decorative interest to your kitchen by installing an island. The kitchen island can be as simple as a small table or as elaborate as a custom-build, electrified, plumbed, tiled cooking center. Find ideas for how to add an island to your kitchen and see photos of great islands. It seems as though families are getting smaller and at the same time, kitchens are getting bigger. Designers are using industrial appliances, state-of-the-art cabinets and countertop materials, and including a kitchen island whenever possible.

A kitchen island looks beautiful in most settings and adds work space, storage area, and room for additional appliances. If you look through decorating magazines or attend Decorator Showhouses, you'll see that most kitchen islands are longer and wider than ever before.

A flat surface island (rather than mulit-level) is a simple solution and contributes a simple elegance to a kitchen. Architectural details such as bump-outs, corner posts, inset areas, and open shelving add personality and style to the kitchen. While a kitchen island can be as simple as a table with open legs, many new kitchen islands are being designed with useful and decorative touches, making a kitchen island a focal point in the kitchen. Some kitchen islands are elaborate custom-built pieces of fine cabinetry and include a sink, granite counters, a cooktop, cabinets for storage, a second dishwasher, a warming oven, or a small refrigerator. The sky's the limit if you have room. The simplest and most common kitchen island has a single surface , like a tabletop. But a multi-level islandcan incorporate both food preparation and eating areas, wine racks, cookbook shelves, bar sinks, deep fryers, and other amenities. A step-down or step-up surface adds interest and separate work areas. A large kitchen can, in some cases, accommodate multiple islands. A food preparation island near the sink or stove serves as a work space. A serving or eating island can convenient and useful.


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