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Design & Planning Kitchen

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April, 2009

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

Save Here Spend There for a Kitchen that Sizzles

Save Here Spend There for a Kitchen that Sizzles

Looking to build your ideal kitchen, but not sure if you can afford it? It may seem like a difficult task, but it is possible to design a space that will fulfill your needs, while leaving room (and funds) for your dreams. Here's how you can combine sacrificing and spending to find the perfect new product mix.

The Plan

Before you begin shopping, take some time to log your family's activity in the kitchen. Are you using the range every day or making quick meals in the microwave? Is your sink area suitable? Can the dishwasher handle your family's load? Is there enough lighting in the most frequently used areas of the kitchen?

Once you have a good grasp of what's going on in your kitchen, take a look at home design publications to determine what appeals to you. Are you drawn toward ornate designs, or do you seek simplicity? What about the extras – do you love sleek glass or granite surfaces? Is there a style of faucet you just have to have?

After completing your research, consider your tastes, your kitchen use and how they fit together. Then, price out your perfect kitchen.

Appliance Assessment

Your appliances are high ticket items, so select purchases carefully. For example, if you're a master chef, you'll need a range to showcase your cooking prowess. The extra-large self-cleaning GE Café™ 30" Free Standing Gas Range in Stainless Steel $2,698 at Lowe's, features five burners with specialty functions, even-air circulation technology, touch controls and special features like Auto Recipe™ Conversion and an Automatic Meat Thermometer, to help you make the perfect meal.

If cooking is not your forte, go for a less expensive range with a similar look. A GE® 30" Free-Standing Gas Range, $718 at Lowe's, still provides the convenience of an extra-large Stainless Steel self-cleaning oven, without all the bells and whistles. You can spend some of the money you saved on a new microwave, like the LG 2.0 cu.ft. Over the Range Oven, $369 at The Home Depot, with large capacity, sensor cooking and an exhaust system that reduces odor.

Selections at the Sink

There are a host of options when choosing faucets and sinks. For many families, a simple, yet stylish sink, such as the Camelot® double bowl, $257*, will do the trick. For those that do a lot of cooking, a large, heavy-duty single-bowl sink, such as Moen's 16-gauge Stainless Steel Lancelot Professional® Big Single undermount, $1,748*, is ideal.

When selecting a kitchen faucet, look for one that's as functional as it is fashionable. The Level™ pulldown kitchen faucet from Moen, $436* in Chrome, gives your kitchen a sleek, modern touch, and simplifies everyday tasks in and around the sink with multiple spray options and an extra-long hose. For a faucet that's contemporary but costs less, try the Solidad™ pulldown kitchen faucet in a LifeShine® Classic Stainless finish, $229 at The Home Depot. Solidad's soft modern design and durable finish stand up to the wear and tear of everyday life.

Extra Elements

Once you have determined where to spend the bulk of your budget, consider extra elements. If your family dines together daily, invest in a dining set that can be passed down for generations to come. If you are famous for your smoothies, buy a great blender that will help you improve your signature drink. If your kitchen is without windows, look for a unique light fixture to illuminate your space.

When you figure out where you're spending, see where you can save. Maybe you love the idea of glass door cabinets, but don't have the funds to buy new dishes. Save your money and stay with solid doors. You might love the look of granite, but not the price. Try granite tile instead – it's much less expensive and easy to replace if tiles get damaged.

Once you achieve a balance between spending and saving, the perfect kitchen will be within your reach.

*Prices are U.S. Manufacturer's Suggested List Price. Your local supplier's pricing may differ.

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