Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Improve Your Home's Usability With Innovative Kitchen Functionality

Kitchen ergonomics are nothing new. Since the 1940's, designers have tried to arrange the kitchen for maximum productivity by introducing concepts such as the kitchen work triangle and the Toe Kick concept. Today at German Kitchen Center we’d like to show you how you can improve your home’s usability with innovative kitchen functionality.

A Brief Background of Kitchen Ergonomics and Usability
Improve Your Home's Usability With Innovative Kitchen Functionality 
The kitchen triangle concept, an heirloom in most kitchens although introduced back in the 1940's, places the mostly used items in the kitchen in close proximity to each other. So you have the fridge, countertop, or stove, and sink being very close together. That way, you don’t have to move a lot to get work done. You simply grab things from the fridge, head over the countertop and prepare a meal, and if you want to use the sink, it’s right next to you.

The Toe Kick concept, and don’t think about painfully bumping your small toe on any of the kitchen’s appliances, applies largely to storage. A toe kick essentially is the niche you find at the bottom of a cabinet. The niche allows you to get closer to the countertop without having to adopt an awkward posture, or knocking your toes against the base of the cabinet.

These two kitchen ergonomic concepts have served well over the years. They make your work easier by making sure you are as comfortable as possible while working and two, you don’t strain yourself with awkward postures.

Are Smart Kitchens Driving Kitchen Ergonomics Out of the Window?
But modern homes are going through some sort of renaissance, primarily driven by new technologies. Over the last few years, most kitchen work has become automated with the invention of the microwave, smart ovens and even smart fridges.

If you have some of these kitchen appliances around, you might think kitchen ergonomics are no longer important. If you have some food in the fridge, today you can just microwave it and enjoy a nice hot meal without having to use the countertop. So that means the kitchen work triangle have little bearing on your situation. The same case can be made for the toe kick concept.

Kitchen Ergonomics are Still Important
However, that’s not necessarily the case. Even with smart kitchen appliances, you still need to work out some bit of usability (ergonomics) into your kitchen. By doing that, you make your life even easier because you enjoy the best of both worlds: automation and high usability.

And to do that, you have to be a bit innovative. You can stop cringing, we are not talking about do-it-yourself-er here. Rather, you can take advantage of a lot of new kitchen innovations to make the most out of your kitchen’s storage and usability. At German Kitchen Center we have onsite designers to help you implement innovative kitchen functionality into the design of your new kitchen. We even offer free design consultations!

For more information about our innovative kitchens or to learn more about us at German Kitchen Center, call us today at 888-209-5240. One of our kitchen design experts will happy to speak to you. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

How Does a New Kitchen Raise Your Home's Value?

How does a new kitchen raise your home's value? It’s amazing what people will do to raise the value of their home but really, a lot of people have no clue on how to maximize value. When it comes to recouping home improvement costs there is one room that should be held above all others: your kitchen. The kitchen is a great place to remodel to raise the value of your home

The kitchen has traditionally been an important room in the house because cooking and sharing food has long been central to family life. Meals will continue to be important, but cooking has, in some cases, significantly changed. The grocery industry has focused on replacements for home meals and hundreds of restaurants have incorporated "to-go" in their business model. Whether we cook frequently or not, kitchens remain the foundation of family life because it is where we live and gather. It is where most of us start and end our days and share the information of our day. Today's kitchens serve more roles than ever before: entertainment center, home office, cooking and dining space. The electronics for an entertainment center may include TV, music and internet connection and the office area may have a desk, files, computer and bookshelves. A new kitchen can help incorporate these elements into your kitchen.

How Does a New Kitchen Raise Your Home's Value 
Designing a kitchen for a new or existing home is a big investment in time, money and energy. Truly it could sometimes be stressful and challenging but people who have had a new kitchen in their homes can testify.  The   results are more than worth the effort. Your kitchen is the heart of the home and potential buyers usually check it out first when viewing a home for sale. For a couple hundred dollars, you can certainly spruce of the kitchen to increase your home value: spring for new sink faucets, repair any squeaky or off-track drawers and cabinets, replace old and worn cabinet handles. Before you begin the process of designing your new kitchen, you will need to set the criteria for the design. It is recommended that you engage a professional kitchen designer that not only designs the cabinet layout, but designs every element of the kitchen and is involved throughout the entire project, so that the final result will be a cohesive design that reflects optimum function and style. A professional designer from German Kitchen Center will not only help you create a beautiful, efficient, kitchen but will save you significant time and money and you will both have fun developing your joint creation. What follows will get your energy flowing and thoughts racing, in preparation for embarking upon your journey. And, it is a journey!

Of course the kitchen can make a significant difference in the value of your home. As such, it is crucial that you invest in having a modern, fresh and charming kitchen. Modern cabinetry, under cabinet lighting and new appliances will all significantly increase the value of your home on the market. You might not even be planning to sell your home anytime soon but it’s an inevitable question when you consider remodeling: How much will this improvement add to the value of my home? When it comes to your kitchen; it’s going to be a huge one.

To learn more on how a new kitchen raises the value of your home, or to learn more about us at German Kitchen Center, please call us today at 888-209-5240. One of our kitchen design experts will be happy to speak with you!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Custom Kitchens in NYC

That sense of total control and ownership! Nothing beats having your kitchen custom designed just perfectly for you; your way, your choice, your taste. Your home's kitchen could be the first place your kids go after school if they want a snack. It could be the place where you put all your stuff after first coming home from work so that you can take a few minutes to get settled. If you host Thanksgiving at your house, it'll definitely see a lot of traffic as people pour in to make sure the feast is everything that you want. It serves all of these purposes adequately but, if you want to get the most out of it, then you'll want to get a custom kitchen that makes yours unlike any other that you've ever seen before. There are a few different things that you can do to make the kitchen in your home a place that you, your family and your guests will be happy to be in. Today at German Kitchen Center, we’d like to share some key things we take into consideration when designing custom kitchens in NYC.

Custom Kitchens in NYC 
It is important to plan your custom kitchen carefully so you don't fall into traps. No detail is too small; even a broom cupboard may not seem like a big deal until you find you have nowhere to keep your brooms. A lot of people focus so much on the actual design and look of the kitchen that they don't think the small details through. A kitchen is a room you use every day so minor oversights can become major aggravations over time. You shouldn’t just think about how your kitchen will look but actually how you will use your custom kitchen. Be practical when it comes to kitchen counter tops; go for materials that are steady and easy to clean. Having a custom kitchen is a major financial investment. It sure involves a lot of time and undoing something you don't like and can't live with is even more expensive than building the custom kitchen in the first place. When you create a custom kitchen with us, we’ll make sure you love it for years to come.

When it comes to custom kitchens, the layout is one upfront detail.  If you have to prepare food on one end of the kitchen, and then cook it on the other, that's not going to serve you well. If you are going to splurge on custom kitchens, then your top tip is to go for quality on the essentials. Get high quality appliances. Make sure your cabinetry is high quality rather than lower end—rather, spend less on kitchen counter tops, which can be easily upgraded in the future. If you have your heart set on granite kitchen counter tops, which are beautiful and practical, but your budget is tight, use a quality laminate, and make replacing them a future goal.

Custom Kitchens in NYC 
All of these looking so good but really you need to get to the right people to get the right thing done. Getting a custom kitchen is not just something you do anyhow. You need advice, support and all of the help you can possibly get; one reason to hire the services of a professional and licensed custom kitchen company. For a quality, pleasing and adorable kitchen, it is best to get help from the right place; leave no room for regrets. At German Kitchen Center, we’ve been providing people with high quality, custom kitchens in NYC for years. We have the experience, expertise, and all the required licenses and paper work to do what we do.

For more information on our custom kitchens in NYC or to learn more at German Kitchen Center, call us today at 888-209-5240. One of our kitchen design experts will be happy to speak with you. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Living Kitchen 2017

Kitchens have become so much more than places to prepare food to gather. They’ve created an industry employing and capturing the interest of thousands of people around the world. With such interest and relevance, there have been many national and even global events centered around kitchen design. Today at German Kitchen Center we’d like to discuss the recent event that was Living Kitchen.
Living Kitchen 2017 
Living Kitchen is an event that has established itself as the central meeting point of kitchens
worldwide. It is a trade fair where you can get everything related to kitchens starting with kitchen accessories, furniture, and appliances all under one event. The international Living Kitchen show in Cologne, Germany is used to unite the national and international kitchen companies, visitors and customers at one place. The aim of the event is to lend momentum to initiate and open up new sales channels for exhibiting companies.

Available services at Living Kitchen
The event holds many activities, from entertainment event, corporate hospitality at businesses, public sports to a customized program that requires an individual’s budget and audience. Living Kitchen takes pride in providing new experiences have never been experienced in the kitchen industry as well as improving the experiences that were already widely available. Whether its trade show, theme event, trade fair and exhibition, workshop and seminars you can find everything you need at Living Kitchen trade fair in Cologne, Germany.

Living Kitchen show 2017
2017 starts with a different tone. It starts with an internal kitchen event that is in a class of its own. The Living Kitchen event is the first event kitchen event worldwide in the trade fair calendar making it an ideal place for anybody to get solutions for their kitchen appliances and other needs, it presents you with new quality products and new solutions for your kitchen that you might not find anywhere else.

When you visit or attend the event you will be part of an international meeting place for kitchen furniture worldwide.
Living Kitchen 2017 

You’ll see:
  • The central trade fair for kitchen appliances and furniture
  • Europeans’ most modern kitchen furnishings
  • Over a hundred thousand visitors that have similar interests regarding kitchens
  • There are many benefits associated with the event. Some of them include: Plenty of room for your ideas: at the exhibition, you can present anything you have. Whatever the idea that you have there are organizations that have dynamic associates who can help you with the ideas.
Meeting place for the industry
Living Kitchen exhibition offers you the opportunity to make direct contact with big existing companies and even new ones. You get the chance to exchange ideas on products, services and the latest development in the industry. The Living Kitchen event spirit and the German spirit make the event a vibrant fair and Cologne an international business center.

To learn more about German Kitchen Center please call us at 888-209-5240. Book a free kitchen design consultation today!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Transitional Style Kitchen and Home

Transitional kitchens blend modern and traditional styles, making them ideal for someone who wants to take the best aspects of both. Read our recent Transitional Kitchens article to learn more details.

We’d like to explore transitional styles in the home, and how your kitchen can inspire such styles in the living room and beyond.

Transitional kitchens are somewhat contemporary without being too hard-edged. If you want this effect throughout the home, you can install storage cabinetry in a similar style throughout your  home. For the living room, your furniture can act as a liaison between the kitchen and other areas of the home. If you are remodeling the bedroom, consider a dresser and possibly a wardrobe or walk in closet with details that are complimentary to the kitchen and living room cabinets also.

Cabinets are super practical for storage, and functionality is a feature of modern kitchens. To balance modern with traditional designs, your cabinetry should use clean lines and not too much ornamentation. Stick with a simple metal bar or knob handle and maybe a subtle shaker-style  cabinet detail. This adds just the right amount of country style, while the overall look is still grounded and current.

Nobilia shaker style transitional kitchenAs for the rest of your furniture, such as tables and beds, this rule also applies. You can use a neutral color palette of browns and whites and and accent with a more bold color if desired. Transitional homes usually feature a mix of different materials for balance. This cottage style Nobilia kitchen is a great example. Its shaker style cabinets are finished in white, with a deep textured wood for the counter top. The nook in the back with hangers for the apron and tote bags works perfectly as a transition to the entry way or living room.

In the living room, your transitional cabinetry is typically used for sideboards and the entertainment center. Find a look that compliments your kitchen design. You can choose to go  with handles or without, but make sure that if your cabinets lean toward modern, they are paired with a rustic finish like exposed brick or wood texture. The same rules go for the dining or coffee table, which should be fairly geometric and simple in design. You can really fine tune the details to what you like here - dress it up with something showy like a chandelier, or keep it contemporary with slim sofas and chairs.

Hulsta transitional furnitureFor the bedroom, your closet and dressers should also have modern style, but with traditional details worked in. Pairing wood with lacquer has a very nice calming effect, as seen in this studio apartment with Hulsta furniture in the sleep area. Because this is a one room studio, we can see the consistency of transitional details in  this space. The bed and night stand also have clean geometric shape to them, mixing oak wood and white lacquer. The rounded knob handles are very minimal. This home’s overall effect is contemporary, yet warm, thanks to the homeyness of the oak and the exposed brick wall.

A transitional home gives so much design freedom, so this concept is perfect for a decorator with the desire to stay current with trends, but wants to add their own spin to their interior design. It takes guts to break through tried and true design themes that are accepted as the status quo. To speak with one of our designers about pulling off a transitional look throughout your home, consider a free consultation.

Hulsta transitional bedroom

Friday, February 24, 2017

How to Find the Right Kitchen Supplier for a Remodel

Kitchen Remodeling
Remodeling any part of your home- the kitchen in particular- is a very serious, and often permanent undertaking. Finding a kitchen supplier you trust is really a key step to getting the “wow” factor, on budget, without causing extra stress and complications.

So what are some things to consider when selecting the right company to work with? Kitchen suppliers operate in every niche, from small local companies to global brands with international vendors.

It ultimately comes down to finding a great product line which is backed by helpful and honest people.

Building Personal Relationships

The path to a great experience with home remodeling often starts with personal connections- and you really should trust your instinct here. Kitchen suppliers typically direct you to a design consultant first. This is someone who will sit down and discuss what you want to accomplish, then try to find a solution within your budget.

You should look for a free, honest estimate from a qualified design pro. This person will likely become your go-to contact throughout the design process, so building a relationship with someone you trust is important. A great kitchen designer will listen to all of your concerns and ideas, and give intelligent and creative solutions that fit your space. You should feel inspired by your meeting, and assured that you can benefit from their knowledge and experience.

Since the design consultant serves as a guide and liaison to help you navigate your purchasing, measuring, and installation tasks, you should also get a feel for how the company operates. Are the cabinets manufactured by a large factory with industrial technology, or in a small workshop? Can your designer connect you with reputable contractors who will get the job done right? Make sure that your kitchen supplier is efficient and communicates openly about these things.

Conduct Independent Research

Kitchen Remodeling
It has become so simple to learn in-depth about brands. With brochures, tech specs, and plenty of photos online, you can really get to know your options when it comes to kitchen cabinets and appliances. Read up on which materials are the best quality, the pros and cons of cabinet styles and what that would mean for your space, and the differences between appliance manufacturers.

You can also read customer reviews to make sure a company is reputable. This should always be taken with a grain of salt though- someone angry about one bad experience is probably more likely to leave a bad review, so try to find many reviews to get an accurate sense. You can also view any awards and special accomplishments that a company has won over the years.

One thing that is hard to determine just from web browsing, though, is the kitchen price. Brand websites don’t often give price estimates for kitchens and furniture directly. This is because every client’s situation is different, with variables like the square footage and your geographic location having a big impact on the total remodel cost. This brings us full circle back to your relationship with kitchen designers and other qualified staff. They are the only ones truly capable of pricing your new kitchen.

Have a Solid Idea of What You Want

Kitchen Remodeling
When you are narrowing your choices down to choose the kitchen supplier you will ultimately hire, the deciding factor may end up depending on personal taste. Who offers the designs which best match your personal style? Who do you feel truly has your best interests at heart?

You most likely have a vision in regards to the finished cabinet look. Do you like modern or traditional designs? What color pallets do you have in mind? Choose the kitchen supplier with the products that align closely with your vision. If you want a glossy, modern kitchen, then a European brand like Nobilia would likely be a good fit. If you love classic, traditional cabinetry, maybe an American brand like Wellborn has a cottage-style charm that fits in with your style.

Every kitchen supplier has its own advantages, and it is really up to you to define your budget, as well as design vision from the onset the best you can. This will really inform your decisions when you shop around for the best fit. Any limitations on your own knowledge and experience can be consulted with the guidance of an excellent kitchen designer.

Best of luck on your remodeling journey!

For more information about kitchen remodeling or to learn more about us at German Kitchen Center, call us today at 888-209-5240.

Monday, February 20, 2017

What Are Transitional Kitchens? 5 Traits

Transitional kitchens are essentially the common ground between modern and traditional designs.

But this has been a little tricky to define outside of design circles. Huffington Post refers to transitional kitchens as “bridging the gap between the two, borrowing from each aesthetic.” A Houzz contributor describes “the warmth and welcome of traditional design and the clean, simple lines of contemporary style.”

Ultimately though, transitional kitchens are extremely flexible- and are a great way to create a unique style that takes your favorite elements from modern and traditional kitchens. Here are a few hallmarks of transitional kitchens:

#1: Modular Custom Design

Nobilia cottage style kitchen
Transitional Kitchens
Transitional kitchens tend to use a modular concept - a feature of modern kitchens - to give freedom in how to arrange your cabinets. Traditional cabinets are often limited in this aspect, with preset frameworks that offer little flexibility.

But transitional kitchens let you change door style to suit your kitchen taste, which could be modern slab doors or traditional shaker or framed fronts. The cabinet face is ultimately what reflects the kitchen style, so it could be as modern or traditional as you like.

#2: Clean Lines

Paul Van de Kooi
Transitional Kitchens

Where a traditional kitchen is very ornate, a transitional kitchen tends to lack the extra fussiness. Cabinets are often finished in a simple style, with a subtle panel on the front as opposed to a more layered, decorated door.

The cabinets are usually frameless too, meaning the doors are laid fully over the front. This grants better access to the inside (hence the commonly used term “full-access cabinetry”). This applies clean lines for the kitchen tiles as well, which tend to be aligned grid-style as opposed to staggered.

#3: Blend of Material

Team 7 transitional kitchen

By combining natural and man-made materials, transitional kitchens really create a harmonious balance. They tend to feature surfaces like granite, soapstone, or even solid wood for counter areas and cabinets. This adds texture to the crisp lines that make up the kitchen design, which really stand out by adding a playful element and keep the appearance from looking too rigid.

#4: Simple Embellishments

Leicht Traditional Kitchen NYC
Transitional Kitchens
Accents in a transitional kitchen are usually stripped down to basics. Handles come in a variety of styles, but tend to favor simple knobs and bar style grips.

But one thing that separates transitional kitchens from modern designs is that they don’t shy away from creative details. This includes moldings, millwork, windowpanes and handles in general - since modern cabinets are often handleless altogether. These homey touches don’t overwhelm the design, but serve to soften it and add a little fun to the space.

#5: Neutral Color Palette

Transitional Kitchens
Transitional kitchens tend to favor earth tones, with an occasional splash of color here and there. These neutral browns, creams, grays, and white and black shades are great for achieving a balance between contrasting modern and traditional styles.

This is where the element of texture comes in. To add some character to these calming tones, we often see finishes like exposed brick, rustic wood grain, or natural stone look for accent areas. These creates a sense of depth on areas like the backsplash, counter top and toe kick.

For more information about our transitional kitchens or about German Kitchen Center please call us at 888-209-5240. One of our kitchen experts will be happy to speak to you.