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May, 2010

From space-saving designs to the latest in sophisticated style, our design tips are made with you and your dream kitchen in mind.

Get a Kitchen that Works for You

Get a Kitchen that Works for You

When considering kitchen upgrades, many homeowners dream about new colors, flooring and finishes, with professional-grade appliances and styling that's straight out of a magazine. Your dream kitchen may be pretty, but is it practical? With today's kitchen becoming the hub of the home, it's important to incorporate tools to make your everyday life a little easier.

Handy Helpers ... Pullouts and Undermounts
The kitchen sink is no longer just for washing dishes. In fact, a recent survey by Moen Incorporated found that Americans are using their kitchen sink for more unusual tasks than ever - with 80 percent of respondents undertaking an unexpected activity at the sink. When asked for the most unusual task they completed at the kitchen sink, the top response was "potting/transplanting plants" (with 14 percent). Next in line were a tie of "washing hair" and "cleaning tools" (at 12 percent), followed by "washing a pet" (11 percent), with small dog being the top mention.

What are you doing at the kitchen sink? If your regular kitchen activity includes the above activities, doing constant clean-up in and around the sink, or filling large vases, pitchers or buckets, consider switching your standard kitchen faucet to a more functional model. The new Arbor™ pulldown kitchen faucet from Moen® features a multi-function pulldown wand and docking system that allows users to switch between several water flow patterns with the touch of a button, including aerated spray, stream or Moen's patented pause button. The faucet also includes a fiber pulldown hose with a ball joint at the end of the wand for quiet operation and easier maneuverability when reaching outside of the sink area. The transitionally styled Arbor faucet is available in a single-hole mount, allowing it to blend beautifully into granite and other solid-surface countertops for a clean, refined look.

In addition to the kitchen faucet, Moen also offers a multi-function pulldown bar/prep faucet as part of the Arbor kitchen collection, to offer added functionality at a utility sink or wet bar. The Arbor bar/prep faucet features two unique flow patterns: stream and aerated spray and a fiber hose for filling tall pitchers or glasses, or targeting hard-to-reach corners of the sink.

Once you find the perfect pulldown faucet for your lifestyle and tastes, pair it with a sink that will provide optimal form and function. Undermount sinks are a great choice for busy families who want an added touch of style. These sinks complement solid surface countertops, offering an upscale, seamless look. Plus, they are easy to clean since there are no edges to catch crumbs. Moen's Camelot® line of undermount stainless steel sinks, available in four bowl configurations, blend quality, function and value to allow you to achieve an easy-to-maintain, upscale look at an affordable price.

Appliance Applications ... Chef-Worthy to Family-Friendly
Consider your culinary prowess and your family's size and dining habits before purchasing any appliances. How often do you cook? Are you a big entertainer? Is family safety an issue? Before you make major decisions on the most technical kitchen upgrades, take a look at how you're going to use them.

The look of a dual oven may sound appealing, but if your diet consists of microwave meals and snacks on-the-go, it might not be the best investment. Instead of the dual oven, look for ovens and ranges that fit your lifestyle. If you consider cleaning a hassle, try a flat-surface electric range, offering the easiest clean-up with a simple swipe. If you have small children in the home, look for a range with controls on the backsplash, instead of the front panel, so they cannot be easily accessed by little ones.

On the flip side, more serious chefs often prefer gas stoves with all the bells and whistles. Gas stoves are typically more expensive, but are noted for their quicker heating times and ease of heat control. For aspiring chefs and heavy entertainers, double ovens, or those with up to eight burners, are great options. Additionally, special features, like remote programming or higher heat output, may appeal to the tech-savvy homeowner.

Take the same approach when considering other appliances, and you'll be on your way to a savvy kitchen in no time.

Smart Storage ... Inside and Overhead
Kitchen storage should fit your habits, your level of organization and your aesthetic desires. If you love the look of glass-door cabinets, but organization is not your forte, then you may want to consider a more opaque alternative, with storage solutions to help you get organized. IKEA offers the AKRUM/RATIONELL system - a full line of items to solve storage dilemmas, making your kitchen even more functional.

An overhead rack is another great storage option, offering easy access to pots and pans in the kitchen. It helps de-clutter the cabinets, and cuts down on your search time to find the perfect cooking tool. Plus, overhead racks can be great alternatives to low-level cabinets for those with limited mobility, to keep needed items within easy reach. They're also great for families with small children, ensuring pots and pans cannot be grasped by little ones.

By considering your lifestyle and making smart choices based on functionality and aesthetics, you can make your kitchen work for you.

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