Cabinet & Countertop Inspirations

With today's busy lifestyles, microwave ovens are an important and frequently used kitchen appliance. Microwaves come in four basic designs ... portable, microwave/hood combination, built-in, and drawer microwave. Determining the best microwave for your kitchen or remodeling project needs to balance a number of factors, including cost, convenience, usage, and aesthetics.

Portable microwaves are very common and are designed to be placed on countertops, portable carts, or on shelves in the kitchen cabinetry. A countertop microwave is typically inexpensive, requires no installation, and can be placed almost anywhere in the kitchen. On the downside, its countertop placement takes up valuable "real estate" in the kitchen, reducing space for food preparation or cleanup.

 

A microwave/hood combination is another common choice. This appliance combines the microwave and venting into a single appliance. This type of appliance is installed over the range or cooktop ... an example is pictured below. This choice is very convenient as the microwave is close to the range, the typical cooking location. By placing the appliance on the wall, it eliminates the need to dedicate countertop space, creating a larger work area. From a negative perspective, they can be difficult for shorter cooks and kids to use and require reaching over the stove, a potentially dangerous situation if the stove is in use.

 

Many remodeling projects are using a built-in microwave combined with a wall oven to create the look of double ovens (pictured below). Newer technology allows the microwave to also cook/bake like a normal oven. It just has reduced capacity. This provides the benefit of two ovens and the convenience of a microwave. From a design perspective, this solution provides a very attractive look and helps maximize counter space. This option is more expensive than the countertop or microwave/hood combination models.

 

More recently, drawer microwaves are becoming popular. This microwave is located in base cabinets, opens like a drawer and loads from the top. As a result, they can be located in numerous spots in the kitchen, making it easy to match location with how the appliance is used. Under counter placement may improve convenience and accessibility for shorter cooks. This newer technology tends to be the most expensive.

 

Our designers would be happy to help in designing your kitchen project, including selecting to best microwave for you lifestyle.  Stop in our Spiceland Indiana showroom to learn more.

 

We don’t often think about the kitchen sink in terms of anything glamorous. After all, its purpose is almost entirely utilitarian. It washes everything from dirty dishes to dirty hands. You may use your sink for basic things, but that doesn’t mean the sink itself has to be basic. Today’s kitchen sinks are created to not only look appealing but also make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. With options in accessories and sizes, your sink can have its own sense of style.

More than just a basin for piling dirty dishes, today’s sinks offer a variety of convenient options for the busy homeowner. Custom cutting boards made to fit inside the sink offer a place to prep veggies and fruit near the sink, making clean up quick and concise. 

 

 

Looking for a way to keep everything handy AND save space? Some sinks offer accessories where everything from your soap dish to your utensil holder can attach anywhere on the basin. 

 

Metal grids made for the bottom of the sink not only give produce a resting place while washing but also protect the sink from the scratches or scuffs of pots and pans. 

 

There are sinks available with a built in knife block and a cubby for larger kitchen utensils, such as spatulas. Other options include hanging racks for dish clothes and sponges as well as built in colanders.

 

 

   Besides the various accessories, the size and shape of your sink can be personalized for your kitchen needs. The more standard double bowl sink is still very popular and quite practical in some kitchens. 

 

Other kitchens are ideal for a larger deep basin sink or perhaps an apron front sink, which looks right at home in both traditional and contemporary settings. If countertop space permits, some may prefer a three-bowl, multi-depth chef sink.  Before deciding, consider the size of your kitchen as well as how you will be using your sink. A large sink might be overwhelming in a small kitchen. Also, if you primarily use a dishwasher and only wash occasional dishes, a single bowl would likely be a better choice for you as opposed to someone who hand washes most of their dishes. They would benefit better from a double bowl sink.

 

There are many decisions throughout the kitchen remodeling process, including choices regarding the kitchen sink.  Our designers can help you navigate these options to make the best decision for your home. Give us a call or stop by our Spiceland Indiana showroom.

If you are considering a kitchen remodel, you are probably giving a lot of thought to how much it will cost and what you can afford to spend. It is crucial to keep the project affordable so that your budget is not depleted before the work is finished. With this in mind, here are ten steps to help you manage spending during a kitchen remodel.

1.   Establish a budget and KEEP it.

  • Determine at the very beginning how much you can afford to spend. If you are working with a design professional or contractor, be upfront with them concerning the parameters of your budget.
  • Consider how long you plan to remain in your home. If you plan to move within five years, only spend what you can expect to recover when you sell. More can be spent if you plan to remain in the home long term.
  • Know the home values in your neighborhood. Don’t over improve as you are not likely to recoup the costs later.

2.   Understand the break-down of costs. In general, a kitchen remodel will equal around 15% of your home’s value. Within that budget, you can expect to spend the following:

  • Cabinets: 35%
  • Labor: 20%
  • Appliances: 20%
  • Fixtures: 5%
  • Fittings/Other: 20%

3.   Plan for the unexpected. Inevitably, there will be surprises, and not the good kind, in most remodeling projects. Plan ahead so that you’re not caught off guard if and when it occurs.

4.   Prioritize your desires. Write down your priorities so if unexpected costs hit your budget, you can stay focused on getting what is most important to you. Don’t forget to consider often overlooked features like crown molding or fancy faucets as they also add to the overall appearance of a project.

5.   Factor in the cost of eating out. With the kitchen being out of commission, you will likely eat out more than usual. Plan for this in your budget or make other arrangements to prepare meals. 

6.   Should I stay or should I go? Living in a home that is being remodeled can be stressful. Make a conscious decision on whether to stay in the home or live somewhere else during the renovation. It may be a good time to take a vacation to avoid some of the remodeling stress. If you stay, consider setting up a temporary kitchen in another room in the house.

7.   How will you pay for the project? There are a variety of means to pay for a kitchen remodel. These include cash, refinancing your home, or a home equity loan.  Understand the pros/cons of each option to ensure choosing the one that best fits your situation.

8.   Track your budget. Create a spreadsheet, or whatever works best, to track your budget and expenses. This will help you quickly see if there are any overruns occurring, allowing you to get back on track.

9.   Consider sweat equity. If you are able, you may think about doing some of the work yourself. This could help reduce the overall cost of the project.

10.  Avoid scope creep. Over the course of the project, you may be tempted to add “extras” or make last minute changes. This can lead to overspending your budget. Don’t be rigid, but be willing to say no if it doesn’t line up with your priorities and fit within your budget. 

Give us a call at Spiceland Wood Products and one of our designers can help make your kitchen remodel and budget goals a reality.


 

Testimonials

"Sonja and I want to thank you for the great experience that you and your company provided to us throughout the design, manufacture, and installation of our library cabinetry you made for our condo. Our friends and family rave about its quality and appearance. You are all craftsmen and it was a real pleasure watching the project come together during the whole process."
Al & Sonja
 
"Thanks again for successfully completing our project today. Special kudos to Mike and the other craftsmen at the shop for a job well done. We could not be more pleased with the results. Mike’s attention to small, finer details was very much appreciated. He was patient, pleasant and understanding. It’s all about the “fit & finish” with us and Spiceland Wood Products did not disappoint. We WILL be doing more business together soon – we look forward to it. Given the opportunity, we will highly recommend SWP to everyone. It was a true pleasure working together."
Wayne & Tonia 

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