The Easiest Way to Update Your Kitchen

Overall you’re happy with your kitchen - but it’s needs… something. Your designer tells you all it needs is a change of cabinet hardware and you like that idea. After all, it’s a difference without the hassle and time of a major remodel.   But be careful. If it sounds too easy, it usually is. That’s not to say it can’t be done.  It’s just that one of the trickiest parts of kitchen design is to coordinate the hardware with the rest of the room. Jump in without a plan and you could end up with a mess.  Here’s what to consider before you take anything apart. Old knobs and cup pulls are easily replaced with new ones. However C and D-shaped hardware, favored by Universal Design, comes in different widths; and this is one time when bigger is better. Unfortunately, you can’t replace a five-inch handle with a seven-inch without leaving a hole. Or suppose you find a handle shape you really love and want to use it throughout the kitchen. It may take two to three coordinating styles to address the different sizes and shapes of your cabinetry. Placing knobs or cup pulls on cabinets and drawers near the sink can be counterproductive. This is where your hands are most likely to be wet or dirty. If your handles are small, require grasping or have a squeeze mechanism, it takes more effort to get them open. If this type of hardware is already in place, take the opportunity to change the drawer and door fronts to install hardware that’s larger and easier to use. Finally, in order to...

Ten Ways to Get The Most From Your Walk-In Closet

Because of their spacious accommodation, walk-in closets are favored for extensive wardrobes…and there’s no reason why they can’t have an elegance of their own. Not only are custom-designed closets beautifully detailed; they help to free up bedroom space by eliminating the need for a large dresser or chest. Check out these ten ideas that go a long way to create the closet of your dreams. Island dressers add personality and subtly create ‘his’ and ‘her’ sides but, they do require a fair amount of space. You need at least three to four feet on all four sides. If you don’t have that much room, the next best thing is a peninsula dresser. Whether you enjoy ironing or not, the closet is the most convenient place to install a pull-out ironing board. It saves steps and time and folds up to disappear when not in use. Right now, cubby holes are off-the-charts popular. When it comes to dimensions, cubbies measuring nine and a half inches wide by eight inches high house most shoe sizes and still leave room for prized heels. Jewelry cabinets with keypad locks can blend in while adding an extra layer of safety. These days it’s not unusual to hang jeans alongside of dress pants with a well-spaced pant rack. And tie racks aren’t just for ties. They hold sunglasses, wallets and cuff links - keeping these accessories together in one place. Drawer dividers add even more organization. Simply adjust them to fit your personal pieces. When it comes to purses, consider hooks. Hook rails showcase individual purses so purse swapping is a breeze. Reduce search time...

Are floor to ceiling cabinets safe to use?

As discussed in “How to draw more natural light into your kitchen,” there are a number of ways that floor to ceiling cabinets can change a kitchen. While it’s hard to argue the advantages they offer, it’s important to understand how best to use them. You see, placing items too high or too low can be hazardous to your health. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In our quest to live in beautiful homes, it’s easy to overlook safety and function. The best home design incorporates both. This is the goal of Universal Design (UD) which adapts homes to everyone’s capabilities without sacrificing appearance. When it comes to cabinetry, it’s important to minimize the number of times you have to reach up or bend down to retrieve items, especially those used most often. Not only inconvenient, it can put you off balance. This might seem counterintuitive to floor to ceiling cabinets… but there’s no reason not to have them. The following tips show the best ways to access all your kitchen cabinets: Store frequently used items where it’s most convenient – preferably from waist to shoulder height. Light weight items are best stored on top and bottom shelves. Medium weight items should be kept between knee and eye levels. Heavier items should be stored between mid-thigh and shoulder height. These guidelines help homeowners retrieve everything they need quickly and easily without challenging their balance. It’s one reason why Universal Design is gaining momentum. But here’s the best part. Well designed homes built and remodeled with Universal Design principles are beautiful, therefore, you don’t have to hesitate to...

How to Draw More Natural Light Into Your Kitchen

When it comes to making a room cheerful, nothing lightens the mood better than sunshine. Happily in Arizona we have lots of it and one way to get your share is to install floor to ceiling cabinets. If you find that surprising, you’re not alone - yet it could be the change you’re looking for. Depending on where they’re placed, not only do they add light, they make kitchens more efficient and can create a unique style. Here’s how. When it comes to storage, floor to ceiling cabinets supply the most space by concentrating storage along one wall. As a result, overhead cabinets placed along exterior walls can be eliminated - giving you the option to add more windows. It’s even possible to place floor to ceiling cabinets on walls with windows, but, you need to plan carefully. Either leave enough of a gap beside the window so you don’t lose light you already have, or add a corner shelf to transition from cabinet to window without wasting space. And there’s no reason why you can’t have some fun with function and style. Vary shelf widths and heights to accommodate anything from canned goods to brooms and mops. Incorporate appliances such as wall ovens and microwaves at heights that suit your needs. Or make room for a niche to prepare drinks and quick meals away from the main food preparation area. This allows multiple cooks to work in the kitchen without bumping into each other.  For style, cut out some of the middle cabinets to create a space partially filled with open shelves or wine glass racks. Now you...