• According to a recent homeowners study conducted by the Research Institute for Cooking and Kitchen Intelligence (RICKI), more and more consumers are intrigued by the idea of adding current “kitchen” technology to their own kitchen space. What are those top kitchen design trends in technology? Here are your top 5:

    LED Lighting in the Kitchen

    LED lights the way in the kitchen..above, below & inside!

    1)LED lighting for the kitchen (47%) – these cool lights are what’s hot in kitchen technology today, and not just because they actually do run cool and minimize heat build up. LED lighting’s flexible applications allow you to light up spaces like never before without seeing the actual light source.

    2)Anti-bacterial surfaces (39%) – certain materials have or are naturally anti-bacterial. Silestone quartz countertops offer a built-in Microban® antimicrobial product, which you can also find in some solid surface products as well. Copper and wood also have some natural anti-bacterial characteristics.

    3)Faucet that comes on when tapped (37%) – touch sensitive faucets respond to a gentle tap to turn water on and off without using handles (and just a “touch” more popular than its’ motion sensor counterpart).

    4)Induction cooking for rapid heating but cool to the touch (36%) – think the old McDonald’s McDLT slogan “the hot stays hot and the cool stays cool”. You will have to invest in a new set of pans, but the performance (and popularity) of these induction surfaces continue to rise.

    5)Touch-less faucet (35%) – sensors detect motion or something in front of it to automatically turn on or turn off. An easy way to fill up a pot when your hands are full or wash your hands after you have been working with raw foods.

    These 5 kitchen design trends in technology represent only a small sampling of the growing number of options available to consumers for their own kitchens. How long before the Jetson’s kitchen truly becomes the way of present and not merely the dream of the future? Only time will tell, but it sure feels like we are catching up on it.

    By Jim Grace

  • Okay, maybe LeBron’s decision wasn’t so hard after all. I mean, he was going to get paid millions of dollars not matter what decision he ended up making. But what does he really know about tough decisions? Has he ever had to decide on whether a knob or pull would look better on his new kitchen cabinets? Did he ever have to look at so many cabinet finish samples that they all started to look the same? Or try to put together a cabinet finish sample with a countertop color sample, a flooring sample and tile backsplash sample to see if they would look good together?

    What does Lebron know about kitchens

    The reality is that people who decide to start a kitchen remodeling project really make “the decision”. They want to make sure their new kitchen looks just right and so each decision becomes “the decision” when it comes to what is best for the new kitchen that they have been dreaming about for years.

    So enough about LeBron James and the decision he had to make (though I don’t think you will hear any complaints from the Cleveland area or most of Ohio for that matter).

    Let’s hear it for the people who make “the decision” every day to start a kitchen remodeling project…and for all the other decisions they have to make as a result to create the kitchen of their dreams. You may not see any tweets about it. Or Facebook posts. Or updates on Vine or Instagram. Maybe a question on Houzz for some social input. Or possibly a picture or too at some point if you’re lucky. But that’s it.

    P.S. I don’t want to hear any Lebron-ing over this either…

    By Jim Grace

  • You are remodeling your kitchen or you just need a new refrigerator because the old one has died or just no longer meets the current needs of your family. Don’t get overwhelmed by the number of brands and choices out there today. When considering a new refrigerator using the following 3 guidelines – style, size and features, will help you find your refrigerator.

    When it comes to style, you have 3 main options to choose form. Traditional free-standing refrigerators are the most common, the ones that typically roll into place and generally stick out from the fronts of your base cabinets anywhere from 5-8”. Counter-depth refrigerators offer a little more style without sticking out quite as much. It is very important to remember here that even though they are called counter-depth, once you take into account door thickness and handles you often times will stick out beyond the countertop. Finally, Built-in refrigerators offer the most…in terms of size, features and an integrated appearance with the rest of your kitchen.

    Size is the next consideration when considering refrigerators. Beyond thinking of refrigerators in their traditional height and width dimensions, think about size in the context of how you will be using your refrigerator. Do you do bigger bulk purchases on less frequent shopping trips…or are you a steady visitor to your local grocer for regular smaller purchases. How much storage will you need? Do you have a large family and/or like to entertain? Answering all of these questions will help you find the right size refrigerator.

    Lastly, determining the features you want, need or must have will further narrow down the refrigerator you will consider. Maybe adjustable shelves and a water and ice dispenser is all you really need. Or maybe you want individual storage bins and crispers with electronic temperature controls to get the most out of your food storage. You might just decide to get it all!

    Following these 3 guidelines will start to help you find a new refrigerator. The final choice, as always, is up to you!

    By Jim Grace

  • When it comes to finding ideas for kitchen design, inspiration is everywhere. The resources available to us today via the internet, television, home shows and more are staggering regardless of whether you are looking for it or not.

    Countdown the Top 40 Kitchen Design Ideas

    You expect to find it in certain places. Remodeling shows are all over television today sharing the latest (and sometimes fastest) remodeling projects you’ve ever seen. Same can be said for the internet. Search Google for kitchen design ideas and the options are literally endless. Sometimes the trap there is not to fall for the biggest and brightest names or ideas.

    Think of it like a top 40 music countdown. When you listen to it, you are letting the crowd decide what you hear. Would you let a Ryan Seacrest design your kitchen based on what everyone else was telling him were the top 40 design ideas? Of course not! If you focus only on the most popular, the most downloaded, the most well-known or viral, then you are missing out on what may be the best ideas and inspiration for remodeling your kitchen. As Seth Godin once said, “Popular is not the same as important, or often, not the same as good.”

    Often times, the best part of the kitchen design journey is the unexpected. When you feel like you’ve looked at everything only to turn your head or walk away for a moment and…that’s when you see it. It could come from anywhere. A hotel or resort you visit on a vacation that has breathtaking lobby or unique storage solution in a room. A newly redesigned doctor’s office with a modern look and style. A family heirloom or culture that allows a unique piece of their history or heritage to be tied into the kitchen design. It can even come from the clutter found in the day to day as you try to come up with unique or effective ways to store and organize things or even show important or valuable possessions.

    Great design ideas exist everywhere, whether you are trying to imagine the entire space or that one special focal point that gives your kitchen its character and impact. Be on the lookout, you never know where the next piece of design inspiration might just show up.

    By Jim Grace

  • Whether you are overwhelmed, overcharged or just over doing with kitchen remodeling ideas, the first real question we ask ourselves once the “dust” of ideas settles is “how much is this going to cost me?”. We hear that a lot, and while we can’t estimate every cost up front, we’ve created a handy and simple to use kitchen estimator to help give you that early ballpark feel for what a large portion of your kitchen remodeling project could cost.

    A ballpark idea of Kitchen Remodeling Costs

    Before you get to that part though, it is important to consider a few things. A general rule of thumb in kitchen remodeling is that kitchen remodeling costs should be 5% to 10% of your home’s value. On a $400,000 home this would create a ballpark of between $20k at the 5% mark to upwards of $40k at the 10% mark. Could you do it for more…or less? Absolutely! A key determinant of that may be how long you plan to stay in your home. This can be an important barometer for how much you should spend on a kitchen remodeling project. Are you looking to update it for future resale value or will this be the kitchen you hope to grow old with?

    Reico’s kitchen estimator can help you gauge kitchen remodeling costs in 3 key areas of the kitchen: cabinets, countertops and appliances. By entering the linear feet of your kitchen, the kitchen estimator will help you determine costs based on the level of product you are looking for in each category (not sure how to get the linear feet? We can help you with that too – check out our How to Measure Your Kitchen video). You will still need to consider other items for your kitchen remodeling project, including but not limited to sinks, faucets and hardware, as well as lighting and flooring depending on how big a scope you want your project to have. And while we wish we could include an estimate on installation and labor, our experience in thousands of homes and projects has taught us that you have to see it to properly estimate it.

    So…before you get too overwhelmed, use our kitchen estimator to help get in the “ballpark” of costs for your kitchen remodeling project.

    By Jim Grace