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Intelligent Kitchen Design

The Frugal Chef A well designed kitchen makes everything taste better. Use these tips to save money and time in your log home’s kitchen. by: loghome.com editorial staff Intelligent kitchen design can be a big investment, since most experts recommend spending 7 to 15 percent of your log home building budget on the kitchen alone. […]
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The Frugal Chef The Frugal Chef
A well designed kitchen makes everything taste better. Use these tips to save money and time in your log home’s kitchen.

Intelligent kitchen design can be a big investment, since most experts recommend spending 7 to 15 percent of your log home building budget on the kitchen alone. As with any room, there are ways to cut corners without ruining the entire recipe. Read on for a collection of classic tips for cost-effective log home kitchens.

Cabinet Creativity
Your cabinets will have the most visual impact in your kitchen, but that doesn’t mean they have to break your budget.

  • Instead of spending big bucks on custom cabinets, enhance stock or semi-custom cabinetry by adding crown molding or vinyl-covered rigid foam.
  • If you splurge on fine hardwood cabinets, add your own hardware. Home centers and department stores stock decorative knobs and pulls for just $1 to $25 apiece.

Kitchen Staff
Your appliances will do lots of hard work, so they deserve four-star attention.

  • Look for Energy Star¨-compliant appliances to increase your kitchen’s efficiency. Some areas in the United States and Canada offer a rebate or tax credit for buying these energy-friendly essentials.
  • Although they’re often more expensive than electric ovens, gas ovens operate more efficiently in the long run. Infrared broilers are most efficient of all because they heat up fast.

Counter Measures
Between chopped veggies, spilt milk and wear-and-tear from portable appliances, your counters will take a lot of abuse. Durability is the key—though it comes at a price.

  • If you choose steel or stone surfaces in your kitchen, mix them up with reasonably priced countertop materials like butcher-block wood or ceramic tile surfaces.
  • If you’re looking to economize on space, try a mobile worktable with locking wheels. It will give you the surface area you’d get from an island without permanently stealing from your floor space.

Cooking Light
When you plan your kitchen lighting, think about function as well as design. Skimp too much and you’ll be left in the dark.

  • Task lighting shines light exactly where you need it. Fluorescent lights are the least expensive—and compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) largely eliminate the poor color, flicker and noise of traditional fluorescent lights.
  • Hidden under-counter lighting—which is great below the kitchen sink—is a functional powerhouse that can cost as little as $50.

Unsinkable Savings
Beauty is important, but you don’t want to wash quality down the drain—especially with sinks and faucets, two of the most-used kitchen components.

  • In terms of material, stainless steel is the most popular choice—and also the least expensive. [A more luxurious choice would be copper.] Look for at least 20-gauge steel (18-gauge is even thicker/better) to resist dents and reduce noise.
  • For optimal corrosion resistance, look for a stainless steel blend of 18 percent chromium and 8 percent nickel. To save a little dough, consider brushed chrome instead of nickel.
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