Don’t buy a microwave cabinet
If you are not going to use an
over-the-range microwave, consider a new microwave that
fits the new cabinets better. Most wall cabinets built with a shelf or
opening for a microwave are fairly deep cabinets that come closer to your
counter—causing the loss of effective counter space. Also, these cabinets
could cost more than a new, space and energy efficient microwave.
Light up your kitchen
Good lighting is essential to a
well designed functional kitchen. Most kitchens are grossly under lit.
Recessed lighting is one of the best ways to light a kitchen because light
can be spread out to all work areas. It can take 8 to 12 recessed lights to
adequately light most kitchens, otherwise there can be dark spots.
Undercabinet lighting is another great idea to fully light your workspace.
Good kitchen planning should include a good lighting plan, not just a few
lights added as an afterthought. You may want to
consider the new digital dimmers and room controls to get the best use of
your new lighting. Many of our clients have commented that the new lighting
is one of their favorite features of the new kitchen.
Think about ventilation for
If ventilation of cooking odors
and grease are concerns of yours, you will need to incorporate a good hood
or a downdraft cooktop or range. It seems most existing kitchens today do not have
vented hoods. A good hood will have adequate air flow, a quiet motor and
good lighting. A downdraft cooking appliance will usually supply very adequate
ventilation. Properly venting a hood or downdraft appliance involves
planning how to run the proper size ductwork to the outside with the fewest
turns and finishing with a good wall cap with a damper.
Plan your flooring
What you will do with the floor
needs to be considered at the time you plan your new kitchen. The cabinets
should be installed in coordination with your new or future floor.
Some floors like ceramic tile or
hardwood should be installed before the cabinets. If that is not possible or
practical (like prefinished hardwood), the cabinets should be raised to
accommodate the new floor, otherwise your counters and appliances may not be
the same height.
If the new floor is to be vinyl
or laminate, the flooring should be installed after the new kitchen is
installed—these are not usually thick enough floors to affect the height of
the cabinets/appliances. Also, since vinyl and laminate are easier to
damage, it would be best not to have the construction and installation work
take place over your new floor.