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What's Up Magazine

Style Meets Function

Feb 14, 2012 08:41PM ● By Anonymous
After all, the kitchen often becomes the gathering place when company visits and where casual chit-chat becomes serious coffee talk. Today, there are a seemingly infinite number of cabinetry options to help transform kitchens into contemporary havens, where utilitarian organization meets stylish design. “Kitchens [today] are designed to be very open to the rest of the house, therefore it can be treated as a piece of furniture and can also look like one if your budget allows,” says local designer/installer Ramsey Haddad.

Depending on your wants and needs, local professional cabinetry installers are available to guide you through a myriad of options befitting to your budget. From splashy renovations using exotic woods to handsome resurfacing of original framework, the services of a professional can assure a job completed to your exact specifications. “There is no substitute for experience and mistakes can quickly erode the money saved by doing it yourself,” notes Bill Putiri, another prominent installer. “Not to mention that the end product rarely looks as good as a professional installation.”

Another selling point of professional services is what you see and don’t see can be very much what you get. Personalized and hidden storage space behind the cabinet face can be so uniquely tailored today, that if you can dream it, you can have it. Think big; think built-in wine racks, pull-out shelving for pots and pans, floor-to-ceiling exposed pantry space, display build-ins for your china, and hidden appliances. Yes, even the big noisy dishwasher of yesteryear has given way to silence and style as many models can be hidden behind matching cabinetry paneling. Embellishments also bring fun to the design process. Seeing as we are all “wired in” today, many new projects are incorporating spatial elements for technology; cubbies for netbooks, iPads, smart phones, and wi-fi televisions.

After dreaming your design, you’ll be in a material world. The materials you choose to build that unique look have also come a long way since the days of pressboard and plywood. Though maple is the number one choice for cabinetry, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, other building materials such as cherry and glass (for doors) are becoming fashionable choices throughout the kitchen. Maple holds court as top choice because it is such a versatile wood, allowing for a variety of finishes—including painted grays, off-whites, dark browns, and blacks, all of which are trending upward confirm local installers. Vibrant reds, bright blues, and cheery yellows (any color in fact) are also possible, if not popular, choices.

Refacing existing cabinetry is also a solution to those worn-out scratched drawers and doors. The technique involves the removal of all cabinet doors and applying a new veneer to the exposed (visible) surface area of the original cabinetry—then replacing the old doors with a new set that matches the refaced veneer. Because of the variety of methods and materials used to complete a refacing project, it is recommended one consult a professional first.

Mike Bliss, professional installer, summarizes, “The [professional] work takes longer [than big-box or pre-made manufacturers], but there are many more details than people think of. An example would be the time and detail it takes just to install the cabinet’s pulls/knobs and the molding. Homeowners also might not realize that there needs to be an order to the installation process, and one area of the job cannot be started until another area is complete.”

Ramsey Haddad agrees, adding, “Make sure you pick out cabinets that fit your home and fit your needs. The better quality cabinet, and with better quality finish, is priced very reasonable these days, especially if you are going to stay in the house more than five years. Having the cabinets professionally installed is as important as the material.”

So the next time you pour a cup a coffee and muse the morning with your significant other, perhaps you’ll eye your kitchen’s cabinetry, see a want or need for new, and it will become more than chit-chat.