Best Cabinets Blog by Express Cabinets

Our Best Cabinets Blog Provides Ideas, Tips and Tricks

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Helpful Tips When Updating Your Kitchen

Updating your kitchen? Designer Mick De Giulio — who designed his first kitchen when he was 19 and has 3,000 projects under his belt gives us a list of what he thinks are the essentials: 1. Natural Light Look for ways to maximize light, from eliminating cabinets next to windows to using transparent  or reflective materials like glass and stainless steel. 2. Comfort I like to incorporate soft seating, a TV, and — when I can — a fireplace, to make the kitchen the coziest place in the house. 3. Visual Texture It’s the mix of woods, countertop materials, and finishes that creates warmth, personality, and mood. 4. Stainless Steel The consummate neutral, it looks great with everything and will never go out of style. I love its organic quality — it develops a well-worn patina over time. 5. An Island If space allows, an island is essential. It’s the social center of the kitchen. 6. A Great Sink Accessories such as an integrated colander and a sliding cutting board make working there more efficient. 7. Integrated Refrigeration Creating cabinet facades to hide refrigeration units gives me a tremendous amount of design freedom. By eliminating a large, boxy element, I can make a kitchen feel more room-like. 8. High-Performance Appliances Today, high-efficiency burners and ovens with convection and self-cleaning are really indispensable. 9. A Hook Every great kitchen has a hook, that one unique element that just pulls you in. It could be a hood, a sink, a pot rack. 10. A Kitchen Designer Kitchen design is complicated, and the landscape is constantly changing. Hiring a professional is perhaps...

Mix it Up

Cabinetry, more than any other single element in a kitchen design, determines the overall feel of the room. With cabinetry setting the style, the creative use of stains and paints can infuse color and drama and produce a cohesive style and a unique look. Unexpected combinations of colors and patterns, such as mixing painted cabinetry with glazes and other finish enhancements, further accentuate the room’s individuality. Where a single color was once the norm, painted cabinetry is now paired with stained wood, and dark cabinetry is used to accent lighter shades. The use of glaze colors, such as chocolate, licorice, pewter, suede and vanilla, offers even more opportunities to mix up the color palette. Finish enhancements, such as distressing, sand through and burnishing, are used throughout the home. The use of glass tiles as a backsplash, mixed stone or concrete countertops or combining contemporary appliances with traditional cabinetry can be successfully integrated into a kitchen...

Make Your Small Kitchen Appear Larger

LIGHTING: Think in terms of layers of light: task lighting to illuminate the work space and ambient, indirect light to add overall brightness that will also make the space look larger. Don’t rely on just one light source, but rather, illuminate all corners in a small kitchen. If you can’t see the space because it’s dark, it’s as if the square footage isn’t there. Keep fixtures sleek and simple so they don’t make the kitchen feel cluttered or crowded. Track fixtures work well for kitchens because they can be angled to illuminate every nook and cranny and are dimmable. What’s more, they are inexpensive and readily available at most home improvement stores. Also a must, undercabinet lighting adds depth and dimension to a kitchen, as well as practical illumination for countertops and cooking areas. You’ll feel as if you have more workspace, because you can see it better, and the kitchen will seem much warmer and more comfortable. If your cabinets don’t extend all the way up the the ceiling, consider illuminateg that upper area to add another subtle layer of light. With a kitchen that’s really small and dark, you may want to knock down the top half of a wall to let in some natural light. Use the lower half to create a bar/counter area with an overhang and some stools underneath. On the kitchen side of the lower wall, install some cabinets or shallow open shelving for added...

CREATING STORAGE

Maximize storage with wall-hung cabinets that extend all the way up to the ceiling. Not only will you add extra storage for less frequently used items, you’ll also make the kitchen seem much larger. Extending the cabinets to the ceiling tricks the eye by drawing it upward, making the ceiling seem higher and the room appear bigger. If you’re looking to maximize your cabinet space but don’t have the room for full-depth cabinetry units, mount a wall of shallow, mirrored 26-in. x 20-in. medicine cabinets on top of each other and side-by-side to hold glassware and spice jars. You’ll be expanding storage space without consuming any square footage, and the mirrors reflect light to visually open up the kitchen. Just make sure that you can properly anchor the units to the wall. If budget is an issue, instead of buying new cabinets, try replacing solid-wood cabinet doors with frosted glass ones and installing lighting inside. Not only will you gain so much visually with the light and airy effect from the glass faces, you’ll also be adding another dimension of light, which will make the kitchen seem much...

MATERIALS THAT COUNT

BACKSPLASH An attractive backsplash can add charm and make your space feel larger at the same time. Consider using mirrors on the backsplash for a bit of sparkle or painting it to add a punch of color. To enhance style and protect the backsplash from splatters, cover painted areas with frosted glass that has a glossy polished side. Light colored ceramic or stone tiles are more expensive, but if you’re in the mood to splurge, they really add a wow factor to your kitchen. To create even more impact, install them on the diagonal rather than simply striaght up and down. This will also make the space seem larger. Stainless steel is also a great backsplash option, as it bounces so much light and is easy to clean. FLOORING Cork can lighten and soften the look and feel of a small room with its texture and is easy to maintain, comfortable to stand on and noise-resistant. Cork floors are also eco-friendly, come in tons of colors and can easily be installed in tiles or sheets. If your local flooring company doesn’t carry cork, search online. You’ll be amazed at the selection. APPLIANCES An increasing number of kitchens are being designed with two undercounter refigerators, instead of one large one, which can visually overwhelm a small kitchen, and 18-in (as opposed to the standard 24-in.) dishwashers and microwave drawers. These appliances are great investments, adding great style and functionality. ISLANDS Most people think they don’t have room for and island, but chances are they do. You generally only need 30 in. between counters and the island to comfortably pass through....

SMALL KITCHEN? SOME QUICK TIPS

Here are some organization tips to help clear space on your countertops: Mount a magnetic strip on the backsplash or the side of a cabinet to hold knives. Mount a long towel bar on the backsplash behind the stove and hang a series of S-hooks on it to hold utensils. Use a steel tool storage unit for kitchen storage for placemats, take-out-menus, and silverware. Use a pot rack whenever possible. If ceilings are low hang pots on the wall with simple screw-in cup hooks. Use metal swing-out racks in a base corner kitchen cabinet for easy access. Use a narrow console table that has shelves as an island for those large pots, pans, and...

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