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Posts Tagged ‘kitchen organization’

Useful Vs Useless Counter-Tops

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

One of the most common items on homeowner’s wish lists is the desire for more counter-top space.  While no one wants exposed clutter out in the open for everyone to see, there is still a desperate need for more work space.  The trick here is in the “work space” not just more counter-top space.

There’s not much need for counters that we can not use as part of the kitchen.  If we have 40 square feet of counter located on the other side of the kitchen as the cook-top or sink area it quickly becomes a drop zone for the family.  We also affectionately refer to this area as the family “crap catcher”.  A bit crass but yet every family knows exactly what area in their kitchen this is referring to.  It’s OK, we all have one.

Our goal is to improve counter-top space WHERE YOU NEED IT MOST.  Check out the below examples:

There is quite a lot of counter-top in the above photo.  Unfortunately it’s not where you need it.  The sink has useful space flanking it but the cook-top was totally robbed of fulfilling it’s full potential.

Then there’s this classic arrangement above.  No counter-space, a wall (oven tower) built next to it, no chance for success.

It is our job as kitchen designers to make sure that we are getting you the quantity of counters you need but also the quality.  The kitchen must be laid out in a way that maximizes the square footage of the space but more importantly makes the most out of the square footage gained.

Kitchen Functionality For The Holidays

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

So you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner at your house this year. Awesome!… Except for the fact that you have to feed 15+ people while somehow finding room to even put / keep the food. Not to mention the house has to look clean and somewhat festive (for you over-achievers) if not at the very least presentable (the rest of us). It would be nice to avoid the criticism from – or should I say “please” – your mother-in-law for once.

…Oh snap! I am really hosting Thanksgiving dinner for my family this year! What am I going to do?!
Don’t panic! Breathe. Here are some tips to make the holiday season a little easier this year.

Determine where each activity will take place, such as dining, serving, gathering, football watching, you name it and set it up accordingly. Organizing – Check!
If you have an extra sink fill it up with ice and place cups nearby. You can put canned drinks in the ice or simply set large bottles next to the sink. Drink station – Check!
Use your island or peninsula that is usually a place for seating as a place for prepping and serving food this holiday season! Buffet – Check!
Take a few small boxes and drape some fabric over them to “display” your family’s favorite dishes down the serving line! Looking like I actually tried – Check!
Only helping hands in the kitchen! Make sure that you allow yourself plenty of space to sprawl while preparing food and kick out any unnecessary people because you need your space, and Uncle Bobby needs to learn his boundaries as well as patience because we ALL have to wait to eat! Sanity – Check!

Most of us know how to use our kitchen in an everyday manner, but we must accommodate for the hand full of times we actually entertain or host guests in our home. Ideally you would have a single level bar, island, or peninsula because it is optimum for preparing and serving, plus it makes your kitchen look huge. An extra sink comes in handy for vegetable washing on most days but can have a dual purpose for gatherings as well. And of course, space and functionality! These are all things that we try to incorporate when remodeling a kitchen because the benefits are endless!

Before I forget, this is the last and most important tip I can give you for the holiday season: Take a minute to enjoy the company around you and focus on making memories with the ones you love.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Platinum Kitchens & Design!

Nutter-butter turkeys

The Dilemma Of The Three R’s (reface, refinish, replace)

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

You’ve probably heard that refacing or refinishing your old cabinets will save you tons of money. You’ve noticed that your old cabinets are all wood and you think they have “good bones”. Maybe you’ve heard that “they don’t build ’em like this anymore”. They might have had good bones once and no, they don’t build them like that anymore – They’re much better now but we’ll come back to that later.

Platinum Kitchens chooses to avoid two of the R’s and recommends replacement as the better solution:

Refacing – This is where your old cabinets get new door and drawer fronts and the cabinet boxes themselves may get veneer coverings on the face frame and sides. New crown and other moldings can sometimes be replaced and upgraded. This is extremely labor intensive both during the initial install and requires a great deal of service / maintenance. Refacing costs only slightly less, equal to or even more money than new cabinetry depending on who’s providing the quote. Over time the veneers peel leaving you with a new aggravation and less money to redo your kitchen the way it really should have been done from the start. One of the main gripes about refacing is that the configuration and overall usefulness of the kitchen doesn’t change, or if it does, you’ve spent way too much money to maintain some old cabinet carcasses.

Refinishing – Painting or having the existing cabinets faux finished would fall into this category. It is a quick fix and sometimes equates to (sorry I have to say this) putting “lipstick on a pig”. This offers no new functionality only a new look. The new finish looks great when first completed but quickly chips, scratches or peels.

Old cabinets

Let’s look at the above photo. Had these homeowners gone the path of refacing or refinishing they would have had to address a few important questions:

1. What do we do about the soffit above the cabinets? – Unless you’re getting new cabinets the soffit has to stay but who wants to go through this expense and keep a useless soffit that is taking up storage and visual space?

2. Can we do a 24″ deep fridge surround for a better look and the ability to actually use the cabinet above the fridge? – The answer is “no” if you decide to keep the cabinets.

3. We would like to gain access to the dead corners of our current layout. Can we do that? – Again, the answer is “no”. Unless you are going to change out the cabinets for better functionality these corners remain difficult to access.

4. Can we make better use of the space taken up by the face-frame of the cabinet? – Not with new fronts or new paint. That only changes the exterior not the interior.

One of the other options with both of the above methods is that homeowners often choose to get new granite counter-tops and back-splash at the time they are refinishing or refacing. If, after a few years, it is discovered that one of these two methods was not the correct path and you’re ready for new cabinets you will find that the new counter-top and tile back-splash may not be able to be salvaged. Granite does not like to be moved once installed – It can break around the sink cutout or suffer other damage. Tile often breaks as the counter-top is removed.

New cabinets offer a new look, new storage solutions, a possible new layout and a new level of quality. Good quality cabinets are well constructed and, if KCMA certified, undergo multiple tests each year to ensure structural integrity as well as a durable finish. Chances are strong that your old cabinets have served well but they have done their time. For a real change and cost effective improvement, replacing your cabinets provides enhanced functionality as well as adding better value to your home.

So You Think Your Kitchen’s Small?…

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Mistretta_before (4)
Mistretta_after (7)

This is to show you that there is probably something that can be done with your space too. This kitchen was defined by a peninsula that stuck out into the room, cutting the space in half. With some imagination and creativity this space was opened up to become a really nice space. We didn’t need to blow out the exterior of the house just had to look at things a bit differently. Moving appliances around and using walls more efficiently gave this homeowner a great kitchen to cook and entertain in.

Is your kitchen being defined by what you see or what could be?

Kitchen Design Tip: Chords!

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

They are everywhere! A jumbled, tangled Medusa hair mess lurks in every kitchen (or bedroom, or den, or office). When designing new kitchens, we try to consider a strategic location for all of your handheld mobile devices. All of those loose cords are unsightly when sitting on your counter top and can be well contained in a special cabinet that won’t eat up a ton of valuable storage space. This photo is a great example of one way we can integrate a charging station into your new kitchen – it’s easily modifiable for larger devices like tablets too! And if a new kitchen is not in your near future, repurpose a countertop bread box available at retailers like Target or Bed Bath & Beyond, into a tidy little DIY central charging station in the meantime! 32599_676227279060187_1320688921_n

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January Design Tip

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Do you have a kitchen pantry filled with that white builder-grade wire shelving? Are your cereal boxes and canned goods constantly tipping over? Measure your shelves, take your measurements to your local hardware store, have them cut melamine shelves or plexi-glass to fit and re-set them on top of your existing shelves. You’ve avoided the hassle of installing an entirely new shelving system, solved a major annoyance AND organized at least one frequently used area in your home.

What to Do With All Those Tiny Spice Jars

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Fall and football are finally here and it’s time for chili, apple cider & soon, pumpkin pie. All foods that make the house smell wonderful, but require many expensive spices.

Do you have a jumbled heap of barely consumed little jars of spices filling up valuable real estate in your kitchen cabinet? The cabinet is a mess and the spices are past their prime. A waste of both space and money! Solution? First, check the date on the bottom of the jar and toss it out if over a year old. Transfer remaining spices into airtight containers, label, place them in a zip top freezer bag, seal and pop into your freezer. Yes, I know, you have a little less freezer space now, clean it out while you’re at it, but you also have more cabinet space and vibrant spices to use in all of your home cooked favorites.