Storage is an issue we often discuss with people who are planning to remodel or update their kitchens. More of us are discovering the joy of cooking and there always seems to be new gadgets or food trends for home cooks that may influence how they plan storage.

If you’re a Food Network fan, you’ve probably admired the organized kitchens on the sets of their top shows and some of the gizmos used by the chefs. From electric juicers and espresso makers to multiple sheet pans and pots for every purpose imaginable, they seem to have it all.

With inspiration from these chefs and from our many customers who love to cook, we thought we’d share some creative ideas for pantry and kitchen storage:

1. Custom Open Shelving

Food Network star Ina Garten loves the utility of open shelves. When her kitchen was remodeled in 2009, the pantry and cooking area featured open shelves where contents were accessible. Her motto for kitchen design is to “keep it simple”. All of the items displayed on her shelves are white and chrome.

2. Glass Door Cabinets

Rachael Ray has a tiny kitchen in her New York apartment but open shelving and glass-door cupboards make it manageable. Glass-door cabinets can be lit to display contents and since the contents can be viewed, there is an incentive to keep items organized. The kitchen below is one we designed and illustrates how glassware, wine and collectibles are stored for function and decor.

3. Backs of Cabinet Doors

Hooks and narrow shelves can be installed on the back of a cabinet door to provide handy storage for items such as hand towels, pot scrubbers, dish soap and spices.

4. Niches

Built-in kitchen niches are a great place to store spices, oils and vinegars but can also be used for glassware, collectibles and cookbooks.

5. Counters, Corners and Window Sills

In chef Lidia Bastianich’s kitchen the counters are an important place for storing cooking items and small appliances. A toaster is tucked into a corner and colorful crocks hold utensils. A cutting board rests on the counter, while her blender is at hand.

6. Above Cabinets

You can leave the space above a cabinet open for storage by omitting soffits from your design to store collectibles or infrequently used items that you may want to display.

7. Hooks Beneath Cupboards

Hooks can provide a helpful solution for items you frequently use in the kitchen and need to have at-hand. Think about storing cups on hooks near a coffee a maker, potholders, utensils and other small items such as measuring cups and spoons or keys.

8. Island Storage

There are many ways to optimize storage on a kitchen island, customized and determined by the way you cook in your kitchen and the amount of space in the room. A kitchen island can be comprised of drawers and base cabinets or open storage. It can also be a place for small appliances, such as a microwave oven, or for a wine cooler or food storage.

9. Basket “Drawers”

If you decide to use open shelving in your kitchen consider adding baskets. You can adjust the shelves to accommodate baskets that you can pull out to store items like root vegetables, linens or dry goods.

10. Hanging Storage

If you’ve watched Paula Deen’s show you may have noticed that she has a rack of cooper pots hanging on the wall over her stove in her kitchen. She has the pots there both for aesthetics and for occasional use. Designer Mick DeGuilio created House Beautiful’s 2012 Kitchen of the Year and fashioned a pantry cupboard with hanging storage for pots with drawers below for the lids.

11. Plate Racks

Plate racks can be integrated with cabinets to provide convenient storage for dishes that you use every day.

12. Pullout Shelves

One of the most convenient options in today’s kitchens is pullout shelving. Gone are the days when you have to get on your hands and knees to reach into the back of a cabinet to find a pot, or move a half dozen items in a cupboard to locate the one you want.

13. Toe-Kick Storage Drawers

Toe-kick drawers are great for storing those sheet pans Food Network chefs recommend for almost everything roasted or baked and cutting boards, too.

14. Solutions for Hard to Store Items

Mario Batali stores his kitchen string in ‘chef’s head’ string holders that his wife buys on EBay. Tin or metal cookie cutters are another hard to store item. If stored in jars, they can lose their shape and they tend to cause drawers to jam if stored there. An on-the-counter paper towel holder is a great solution. You can stack them or even use a couple to keep them organized for holiday use. When it comes to kitchen storage, don’t be afraid to think ‘outside of the box’ or talk with a designer about your needs. Seek ideas that simplify work in the kitchen.

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SMART KITCHEN REMODELING PAYS OFF

These days everyone is concerned about resale value when they think about home renovations. Kitchens are the hub of everyday life and they go out of style faster than other parts of the house, so they are one of the most common places to put your remodeling dollars. Even in today’s uncertain economy, a good kitchen renovation can add significant value to your home. However, I warn my clients is that it’s more important to have a smart kitchen remodeling project than one that is luxurious or has the latest cutting edge features.

So what exactly constitutes “smart” kitchen design? Below are some of the factors I have found that make for a “smart” and high-value remodeling project.

Don’t Over-Improve: It’s important to take your neighborhood into account when planning a renovation. If the homes in your area are modestly priced, you probably aren’t going to recoup the costs of a high-end kitchen renovation when you sell your home. In other words, don’t spend $100,000 on a house that is worth $200,000. Instead, think small. In Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report, researchers found that the average minor kitchen remodeling project returned 72 percent of its value while major remodels recoup slightly less. Remember that you can accomplish a lot on a modest budget. For example, kitchen cabinet re-facing is inexpensive, but can change the whole appearance of your kitchen.

Pricier isn’t Necessarily Better: Sometimes when you pay more for cabinets and appliances, you get more features and higher quality. And sometimes you don’t. Are you paying for bells and whistles you’re not going to use or for appearance rather than enhanced function? Think about the features you really want and then do some research. Consumer Reports, run by the non-profit Consumers Union, rates kitchen appliances, counters, floors, and cabinets, based on its own tests and the reports of 18,000 members. Their magazine and website discuss a range of ideas and products for homeowners. One of their best-known features is when they put appliances through rigorous tests to see which perform the best, and will tell you which units are most energy efficient. You can conduct your own research by reading reviews through Angie’s List, Amazon.com, or other websites that sell appliances and request consumer feedback.

Smart Planning: The more planning you do ahead of time, the less likely you are to change your mind (incurring extra costs) during construction or to make costly mistakes. Make sure all of your plans are in place before you start remodeling. Smart planning also counts in the design stage. Remodeling isn’t just about enhancing the appearance of your kitchen but also about improving its functionality. You want to consider traffic flow through the room and think through how you use the room. Do you do a lot of entertaining? Do the kids do their homework in the kitchen? Are you planning on having a baby soon? All of these things can have an effect on the kitchen’s design. Also consider the ergonomics of how you use the kitchen. You can have a high-end dishwasher, but if it’s not near the sink, it will be a pain in the neck. Good ergonomics also mean a compact work triangle between the fridge, stove, and sink. A bigger kitchen isn’t necessarily better if it puts these elements too far away from each other. You should only have to move two or three steps from each part of the triangle to another.

Don’t Skimp on Essentials: Although smart planning means saving money, you don’t want to cheat yourself by skimping on the things that really count. Do your research so that you get high-quality, durable, functional cabinets and long-lasting, easy-care countertops. Be sure that your lighting is adequate for your needs and that your appliances are a good value and save energy costs. However, the most important place to ensure good value for your money is in the labor. Whatever remodeler you hire, check them out and call references. Poor workmanship will cost you more in the long run than it saves. And, you will be living with the contractors in your house for a while; you want to ensure they are people you feel comfortable with and trust.

Have questions or ideas for new kitchen? Contact us today.

Eddie Leverett General Contractor
Design / Build / Remodel

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New remodeling Trends for 2013

E.L.G.C. can turn these ideas into a reality. Enjoy a new home in 2013

10. Kitchen Cabinets
A clean, simple, contemporary look will be popular with homeowners looking to economize and eliminate unnecessary clutter and fussy details that equate to high maintenance and complicated living. For those who don’t want to spring for new cabinetry, re-facing or refinishing cabinets offers more bang for the buck.

9. Countertops
Granite has been dethroned. While granite isn’t going away and still has many die-hard fans, the new king of countertops will be quartz composite — the closest thing to no maintenance, bullet-proof countertop materials available today.

8. Hardwood Floors
Pre-finished and engineered wood flooring will become more popular than the once gold-standard of site-finished flooring. Pre-finished woods provide a hard, durable finish, are an installation time saver, and eliminate the sanding dust dilemma. Engineered wood floors are also compatible with under-floor heating systems, a big plus in cold climates.

7. Glass Backsplashes
Glass mosaic tile is on the way out. Taking its place are glass/stone/tile mosaic composites that can add more texture and visual interest and that tie in more readily with stone or quartz countertops. Be on the lookout for back-painted, solid glass panel backsplashes in contemporary settings, which provides an ultra-clean, almost ethereal look to a polished, modern kitchen setting.

6. Stylishly Simple Sinks
Goodbye double-sinks, hello deep single-bowl sinks. With accessories such as fitted colanders and dish drains, deep single-bowl sinks have all the benefits of a divided sink, plus the large size to actually fit that roasting pan or those baking sheets into the sink all at once. Stainless is still popular, but the quartz composites are a great value and durable option.

5. Color Palette
Charcoal is the new black. 2013 will find this silky color everywhere as it blends the right amount of chocolate, grey and a touch of green.

4. Bathroom Stone
Synonymous with luxury, Calacatta marble will find its way into both traditional and contemporary bathrooms. Calacatta is a rarer stone than Carrara marble, but is quarried in the same region. It is valued for a whiter background and bolder grey veins.

3. Texture and Sparkle
Bedazzled may find its way into home décor and design as homeowners seek a blend of classic textures and colors with pops of bold color and elements of sparkle. Glossy glass tile backsplashes and sparkle on polished nickel fixtures trend in 2013.

2. Living In Your Home Longer/Multi-Generational Living
With many certified aging-in-place specialists (CAPS), We predict a growing trend to help aging baby boomers safely “grow old” in their homes, for as long as possible. Watch for easy kitchen and bath upgrades to enhance functionality, comfort and safety.

1. Healthy Home, Healthy Living
Green and sustainable design is here to stay. The number one trend for 2013 will be to create a healthy living environment, free of toxins and harsh chemicals. More and more homeowners are taking advantage of federal and state incentives to evaluate their home’s energy efficiency and overall performance. Upgrade trends include the use of low VOC materials to improve indoor air quality, testing combustion safety, and radon mitigation.

If we compare the average house to a car, it would have bald tires, leak, burn oil, and get four miles to a gallon.

Is it time to remodel?

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