What NOT to do...

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Registered: 09-05-2003
What NOT to do...
Tue, 06-24-2008 - 9:19am


Kitchen Don'ts

By Anna Maria Vona, Carmana Designs, Ltd http://www.carmanadesigns.com/

Common mistakes can make a dream kitchen a nightmare. Use these ten tips to avoid them.

1. Don't design a cooktop without having adequate room on either side of the cooking surface for hot pots to land.

2. Don't design a cooktop next to a wall. There's nothing worse than being shoehorned against a wall while you're cooking, not to mention the greasy mess the wall will sustain.

3. Don't select solid surface material for kitchen countertops that will take a lot of abuse. You cannot place hot pots on top—they will scorch, burn and melt. Natural stone is a little more expensive initially, but well worth the investment because it can take a lot more abuse than resin-based solid surface materials. You will still need to use a hot pad or other insulating item to avoid direct contact with the countertop, because placing a very hot item directly on a cool granite top may cause thermal shock, resulting in cracks and popped crystals in the stone.

4. Don't select the main kitchen faucet to have two handles. It's way too messy to control with "kitchen-dirty" hands, especially when cutting up raw poultry or meat. Spec a single-lever faucet, or better yet, spec a foot-controlled kick plate.

5. Don't design a kitchen with too many ornate moldings. Those Old World-style kitchens with over-the-top moldings are a haven for layers of grease, dust, more grease, then more dust. We all have better things to do than de-gunk kitchen cabinets and moldings with little toothpicks and Q-Tips!

6. Ditto for the ornate lighting fixtures in the kitchen. Leave the sparkly chandelier for the dining room. Even worse is the kitschy trend of putting two small crystal chandeliers over the island!

7. Ditto for the kitschy trend in Old World-style kitchens to have lots of little knick-knacks in the kitchen. All they do is collect dust and grease and worse yet, you have to constantly move them around to clean underneath and around them. Who wants that extra ingredient called "dust" when you're baking your signature dessert?

8. If you spec an OTR (over-the-range) microwave and the project is new construction, vent the exhaust fan directly through the roof to keep your kitchen clean and grease-free. Those little exhaust fans integrated within the microwave are a waste of the manufacturer's time and your money. Those exhaust fans do nothing more than re-circulate hot air.

9. The current trend is very dark wood stains for kitchen cabinetry, such as chocolate, cappuccino and espresso. Do yourself a favor and start with a dark wood. Don't spec maple cabinets and stain them Bourbon Cherry. Start out with a dark cherry wood and keep it natural. This way, when the dark wood nicks, chips and scratches, there will be a dark substrate underneath. You'll save money and a lot of unnecessary call-backs.

10. Don't spec a side-by-side refrigerator, no matter how much you want one. The main reason for ordering the side-by-side was the "bending down" problem that happens with a full-width refrigerator and freezer on the bottom. But you can't fit trays in a side-by-side.

Co-CL for "The Stitcher's Niche" and CL for "Remodel & Renovate"

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Stitchery WIPs: "Bath 5¢", "Walking to Town", a selection of 8 San Man snowman charts, 2 sets of curtain tie-backs using a DMC freebie chart and the DMC linen threads, a Kooler Design Studio chart form JanLynn called "Needlework Shop", "Tsunami Charity Sampler" from the fall 2007 Sampler & Needlework Quarterly, and "Autumn Leaves" from the December 2006 New Stitches

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