Optimize your kitchen floor plan for food prep and entertaining by rethinking the layout. Simply switching the location of your refrigerator, cabinets, and dishwasher could increase counter space and allow for a better traffic flow through the room. Kristin Jackson, the blogging virtuoso behind The Hunted Interior, significantly augmented her kitchen storage by redistributing her appliances and adopting an open shelving design. With fewer tall, imposing cabinets and extended countertop space, Kristin's revamped kitchen is a lesson in less-is-more design. 

I had countertops installed the Saturday before Christmas. They arrived at 5:00 in the evening. The top was two sections of cabinets. The one section arrived with a small chip on the edge. The other section had a small chip at the seem which they just filled with epoxy. They dropped glue on my newly installed floor as well as outside. The product they used to clean when done splashed on my newly painted wall and won’t come off. Now the wall has to be repainted which means buying more expensive paint. There was a long rust colored line on the edge of the countertop that won’t come off. Nowhere else does that color appear. There is a caulk joint of about a 1/4 inch between the top of the cabinet and underside of top. Cabinet was level so don’t understand the need for the caulk. We like our choice of color and the looks of our tops. Our issue is with the installation. Would not recommend. Read less
The price of new countertops differs widely based on materials. Stone surfaces, like quartz and granite, are the most durable, but also the most expensive. Solid surface and laminate are less costly but require more maintenance. Ceramic tiles are generally an affordable backsplash alternative, depending on their brand and the complexity of the tiling layout.
One of the most exquisite natural stones known to mankind, marble is a godsend for those looking to take a detour from the boldness of granite countertops. Aesthetically pleasing and available in countless varieties, there is a reason marble has so much significance even historically. If you are going for sophistication, meet your best friend: marble countertops.
If you want to use your kitchen as an office, make it part of the remodel. You don’t need a lot of space. A small seating area with a computer station is often adequate. During the remodel, add Internet access and outlets for plugging in your computer equipment (visit familyhandyman.com and search for “add outlets”). Also add storage space like shelving or a recessed wall cabinet so your paperwork won’t get lost or create a mess.

When it comes to flooring, consider slip-resistance, ease of maintenance and porosity, suggests consultant Craig Verdon. Stone floors, which are somewhat porous, for instance, may need periodic resealing. If so, ask how often, and think about whether you want to deal with that process. “Hardwood floors are beautiful, but be aware that they wear out faster by the fridge, stove and sink than other areas,” he notes. “Hard, natural stone works wonderfully, and the earthy look and feel of it is very popular.”
When designing your new kitchen, consider creative ways to transform traditional pieces, like cabinets, into something functional and unique. For example, a standalone hutch made from Martha Stewart Living PureStyle cabinetry can not only serve as storage, but also transform into a handy reminder station with the addition of dry-erase board inserts.
Amanda Seyfried's Catskills retreat, designed by General Assembly, is a stylish (and slightly quieter) alternative to Hamptons living. Inside the kitchen, perfect for entertaining despite the limited square-footage, the range and hood are by Wolf, the Whitehaus sink is fitted with a Kallista faucet, and the backsplash is of tiles by Heath Ceramics. The island has a countertop of Caesarstone, the pairs of pendant lights are by Tom Dixon, and the cabinets are painted in Aganthus Green by Benjamin Moore.
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