Tuesday, May 29, 2012

8 Steps to Surviving a Kitchen Remodel

By Lisa Frederick - (Courtesy of Houzz)

Congratulations — the kitchen remodeling job you've planned for months is finally ready to begin! Now comes the hard part: making do without a fully functioning kitchen for the duration. There's no escaping the inconvenience, but with some smart planning, it doesn't have to wreak havoc on your household. Follow these tips to make the construction process as smooth as possible.

1. Designate a kitchen stand-in. Eating out all the time gets tiresome, not to mention the strain it can put on your budget. And no matter how much takeout you bring home, you'll still need a spot to make school lunches, pour a bowl of cereal or brew coffee. Set up a temporary kitchen somewhere that's out of the way of construction.

If you're lucky enough to have a
morning kitchen or a guesthouse, you can turn that into food-prep central. Or outfit a corner of the basement, garage or workroom with a few portable tables, standalone shelves, storage crates and folding chairs.

2. Winnow down your kitchen gear. During a remodel, your cooking and eating routine will be disrupted, and no matter how much you love to cook, ambitious meals will be a challenge.

Keep things simple and pare down to the kitchen tools you really, truly can't live without. Be merciless — how often are you going to use your food processor or waffle iron? Stash the essentials close at hand and store the rest.

3. Plan meals around small appliances. Portable workhorses such as slow cookers, microwaves, toaster ovens, electric griddles and skillets, hot plates and coffee makers can get you over the mealtime hump.

Move your fridge to your temporary kitchen, if possible; if not, invest in a minifridge and a chest freezer
or borrow them from a friend.

4. Stock the pantry with disposables.
Without your usual spot to wash dishes, you'll be getting creative (the bathtub, an outdoor hose, a cooler full of sudsy water).

Make life easier by stocking up on recyclable or biodegradable plates, napkins, cups and utensils. You'll streamline cleanup and cut down on the stress of your temporary displacement.             

5. If the weather cooperates, put your grill to work. Here's a secret: Your grill can do almost anything your oven can. Need to roast meat or vegetables, or bake pizza? Look to the grill. You can even channel your Scout days and use it for foil-packet meals, pans of biscuits and rolls, skillet pies and cobblers and, of course, s'mores.

6. Keep a stash of nonperishable snacks.
When you're starving but can't face putting together a full meal in your makeshift digs, snacks can save your stomach.

Peanut butter, crackers, dried fruit or fruit leather, canned goods, trail mix and more can make for quick meals in a pinch.

7. Leave town for a short time, if you can. If you're considering a vacation or need to schedule a business trip, now might be a good time, assuming you're comfortable with the remodeling work continuing in your absence. Bonus points if you're visiting relatives — you might score a home-cooked meal or two.

8. Remember the big picture. In the grand scheme of homeownership, this is but a short period of inconvenience amid years of kitchen bliss. Keep the process in perspective and treat it as an adventure. When you're hard at work in your sparkling new kitchen, the temporary hassles will fade from memory.

Living through a kitchen remodel isn't always fun, but these steps will help you work around a kitchen in disarray.  At Cabinet-S-Top we take the extra steps to ensure that your remodeling project goes quickly and as smooth as possible.  We take the hassle out of the remodeling process.  Simplifying Remodeling...it's what we do!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Magic Mirrors Emerge from Fairy Tales

by Mike Elgan (Courtesy of Houzz)

Amazing advancements in computers, interfaces and glass point to a
future in which smart surfaces are commonplace in the home.

What Microsoft is cooking up for your kitchen. Microsoft, which is best known for software like Windows and Office, is also a research pioneer in the development of ideas and technology for homes of the future.

Microsoft researchers occasionally put together videos to demonstrate what's coming soon. These are not pie-in-the-sky fantasies but the culmination of technologies well under way in research labs at Microsoft and at universities and corporations all over the world. These scenarios for using near-future technologies, or something very close to them, are very likely.

About 4 minutes and 22 seconds into the most recent promotional video, called "Microsoft Future Vision," (click here to see video) you can see Microsoft’s vision for kitchen technology. It's all very elegant and beautiful, of course. But more important is the overarching theme and direction of human interaction with home technology: Computers and technology vanish into tables and cabinet doors, and even into the refrigerator.

The interface for all this breathtaking home technology is just like the evil queen’s technology — magic-mirror glass plus voice-controlled artificial intelligence, virtual assistant and face recognition. The glass surfaces conjure up information and ideas, video feeds and communication, all appropriate to the context of the user's intent.

In all cases, items in the home look ordinary — the table looks like a table; the fridge looks like a fridge. But the table becomes an extension of the tablet a child is using, and the refrigerator door shows a picture of what’s inside, or information like family schedules and recipes.

While this technology is still on the horizon and not yet ready to be installed in our homes today, it is interesting to see where we are headed.  At Cabinet-S-Top we are on the cutting edge and offer the latest products available for your kitchen and bath remodeling projects. Stop by and see us at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH, you'll love what you find in our showroom!  

Monday, May 14, 2012

Creative Ideas for Kitchen Islands

by: Scott A. Stultz (Courtesy of Cultivate)

Kitchen islands are all-purpose workhorses. They're places for prepping food, hubs for socializing, homework stations, and spots to eat quick meals. But they can also act as important design elements in the kitchen arena, serving as a room divider, a raised bar, or even a case to display books and collections. Don't think all islands look the same either.

Island Life

There are a few fundamentals to consider when approaching its design. Whether it’s a multi-tasking command center or a humble two-foot-square chopping block, make sure your island's parts are in proportion to its bulk. This means that if you use legs, turnings, or feet, they should relate to the form they’re supporting and not look out of place. Skinny turnings stuck under heavy sections of countertop or pasted onto corners for decoration, for example, can look gratuitous and silly. Remember: Countertop thicknesses, edges, and corner details should add to rather than distract from the main message of a kitchen island, which is ultimately, “I am a piece of furniture with a function to perform.”

Creative Ideas

To achieve ultimate functionality from your island, don't feel limited by the usual single, large island. Think outside the box with multiple, smaller islands that do many things. Don't be afraid to get creative with shape either. In a kitchen that opens to a living space, a wedge-shaped island with a curved banquette carved into it uses the island as the back wall of an implied dining space—and can create a cool design feature.
In the kitchen proper, a work island near the range is slashed by a raised bar top that orients towards the main social space. These non-traditional additions often add to scultpural element to a space and often emphasize outdoor views.

Overall, well-designed islands have simple elements and details that are as sensitive to line, form, and proportion as any good piece of furniture. With a little thoughtfulness and careful consideration, though, your island can be a beautiful work of functional art.

Cabinet-S-Top is located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH - 330-239-3630.  Stop by our showroom  to discuss how we can create a unique island for your kitchen. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

2012 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show Highlights

Innovations in sinks, outlets and surface materials
for kitchens and baths highlighted at this year's show

The annual Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) held in April in Chicago, highlighted current trend displays, up-and-coming designs and new products for the kitchen and bath. 

First up, Kohler’s new Top-Mount Self-Trimming Apron Front Sink. It can easily be retrofitted into existing cabinetry and countertops, providing an authentic farmhouse-style sink with minimal disruption. Most apron sinks require a special base cabinet built to sink specifications, so the cost savings to add this specialty sink is likely significant.

Tired of the clutter caused by AC adapters clogging up all available wall outlets? The genius U-Socket AC Receptacle with built-in USB ports solves the problem of too many chargers and not enough wall outlets.

Designed to reduce energy costs dramatically, the U-Socket has a five-star energy-efficient design that automatically senses the required wattage and outputs full power only if something is connected.

Ever wonder what happens to all that glass you painstakingly recycle? Glass Recycled, for one, converts recycled glass and porcelain bound for the landfill into elegant, sustainable and ecological hard surfaces for the kitchen and bathroom.

High-end Artisan products creating a chic collection of bathroom faucets and accessories in this modern matte black finish provides a classic and timeless look that goes with just about anything.  The faucets have SmartTouchPlus technology, allowing for hands-free and touch-sensitive operation.

Kohler continues to lead innovation by integrating more and more technology into the bathroom. The Numi, their most advanced toilet, combines design, technology, and engineering.  It has a very unique form, a touch-screen remote, a self-opening and closing lid, and innovative flush technology that helps with water savings and power.


Kohler also introduced their VibrAcoustic® technology that essentially turns your bathtub into a stereo system, simply by plugging in your iPod or other music player. The technology is incorporated in their Underscore bath line and is a technology-based sound therapy defined as hearing and feeling vibrations through the body.
Looking at sinks and faucets, there seemed to be a trend toward products appearing handmade. There were hammered copper sinks and distressed finishes that communicated the nature of how things were created. ROHL’s new line of stainless copper sinks provide a commercial-grade sink system that offers a design aesthetic fit for a show kitchen.

Laminate counters have come a long way. Witness Formica’s 180fx Collection. With exotic granite and quartzite patterns in either a softly polished or a high-gloss finish, ease of maintenance and affordability are only part of the attraction.

A new treatment that eliminates flat edges and brown seams, dubbed IdealEdge, duplicates the bullnose and ogee edges usually found in costlier options.

This display by Moen stood out as a fun option for a family bath, making a step stool unnecessary. It features the popular Weymouth faucets with porcelain inlays and “Hot” and “Cold” written in English or French script on the handles.

Ever thought about changing out your backsplash to suit your mood? Kitchen Palette has come up with an interchangeable option that fits behind a standard cooktop or range; it has a printed palette that can be changed out on a whim. Watch for new designs coming soon.

With the trends seen at this year's show, the economy continues to encourage homeowners to not only enhance the appearance and functionality of their homes, but to consider energy-saving options and long-term value.  Cabinet-S-Top is proud to offer these exciting new products.  Stop by our showroom located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH (330-239-3630) to put these current trends in your kitchen or bath.