Here are some tips on a variety of subject to answer some of your questions. We invite you to call or write for answers to your unique concerns.
Choosing appliances is not easy. But here are some things to look out for. Slide in-style stoves usually look best because they do not have a tall back to interfere with the backsplash design. Refrigerators should be “counter depth” but bring a tape measure with you to the appliance store to confirm. A microwave that is the same brand as the stove matches best. Stainless steel and other colors differ from brand to brand. Check the decibel rating on your dishwasher. Quiet is best. And consider an 18” wide one that takes service for 6 if you are pressed for space.
Love the richness and warmth of a dark color wood or color for your kitchen, but afraid of “closing it in”? Go for it! The key is not the color but the amount and type of lighting. With the proper lighting in the room from the ceiling, under-cabinet, or above, you will produce a dramatic kitchen that will deliver a big impact.
Charmed by granite and marble but attracted to the ease of quartz? Nothing can replace the elegance and beauty of granite because of the natural movement in the stone. Marble is often warned against because of its relative softness and permeability. But for all those who have insisted on it, when well sealed, it served as well as granite. The quartz materials have advantages. They never need to be sealed and they are anti-microbial. You needn’t pick a slab, because they are all consistent. Solution: Go with what you really love. OR mix and match if you have a big kitchen—quartz for the cooking surfaces and granite or marble elsewhere.
The cabinet box or carcass can be furniture board (also known as flakeboard and presswood) covered in melamine (usually white, wood tone, or beige) or it can be plywood. Both are durable and easy to clean. The furniture board will be less expensive. Go with your budget on this. But if you plan to resell your home or apartment, plywood cabinets will have more appeal to buyers.
If the kitchen is open to the rest of the area, matching the wood is usually desirable to give the home or apartment “flow.” But if it is enclosed, my choice for the floor is always porcelain. It is an interesting material as it can mimic almost any other finish—marble, slate, ceramic, anything! It is durable and easy to keep clean. Keep those grout lines tight! Butt the tiles if you can so not much of it shows. Match the grout to the tile and seal the grout for ease of maintenance.
Your motivation can be to “save the planet,” allergies, or clean air quality. All are great reasons to look into “green cabinetry.” It should use renewable resources—wood from replanted forests or bamboo which is self-renewing (it always grows back). It should use waterbase finishes including the glues with which it is assembled. It should have no or low VOCs (harmful vapor emissions) and low or no formaldehyde. Recycled cabinets reuse resources, but the original construction may have not been green. Prices have become competitive, so consider “green” when you can.
We have tons of tips for you on every subject, so please call or write.
Page1Design, Inc. 203 E. 72nd Street, Suite 23A New York, NY 10021 P 212.772.7007 F 646.202.9544