If Mamma Isn't Happy

Spend Smart

The July 2012 Consumer Reports is a special issue all about KITCHENS. If a kitchen update, large or small, is in your future, it is a great guide to have. Some of our favorite pointers include: 

~~Adding undercabinet lighting is an inexpensive way to add critical task lighting to the kitchen. "Tape lighting" and LEDs are the most common options.
~~Avoid the temptation to "save" with shoddy choices, assuming that you'll replace them with what you really want later. "In 30 years, I've never had a client actually come back and make those changes," says Mark Karas, a well-known designer and president of the NKBA.
~~Buying a new refrigerator? Pull-out shelves, split shelves and deep door bins maximize storage space. Through-the-door ice and water dispensers are convenient, but they can add to the cost and energy use--and fridges with those add-ons tend to be more repair prone.
~~$1920 is about all it takes to get a new range, refrigerator, and dishwasher that deliver both performance and efficiency.

Great Websites To Help Collect
Ideas For Your Dream Kitchen

Storage Solutions from Better Homes and Gardens

HGTV's Planning Guide

Southern Living Dream Kitchens

Kitchen Don'ts ~~ DON'T forget to take the time to consider and plan your kitchen remodel. Changing one's mind after the work got started typically tacked $1,500 onto the kitchen project, according to survey of nearly 3,000 readers.~~DON'T fail to consider these popular options: lazy Susan, pull-down soap and sponge holder, roll-out shelves, deep pot drawers, message-center cabinets, toe-kick cabinets (perfect for holding shallow items like cookie sheets), drawer dividers, slide-out wastebasket, pantry cabinets (with roll out trays and adjustable door racks), lift cabinets(for mixers and food processors), cubby units, and vertical cabinet dividers.~~DON'T fall in love with a farmhouse sink without realizing that special cabinets are required.

Tip Before you order your cabinets, start by making a list of all the items you plan to store--from pots and pans to utensils, dinnerware, dry goods, and dish towels. Make sure you'll have easy-to-access spots for everything, plus a bit of room to grow.