The following is checklist of cool kitchen ideas, any number of which will help you wow your clients and transform their kitchens:
- Diffused fluorescent light panels behind colored glass tiles on the backsplash
- Rope lighting in toe kick areas
- Metallic finishes or white baffles ― no more black baffles in recessed lighting
- Pendant lights over islands, bars, stainless bullets
- High-end slide dimmers and scene controls
- Free-form track halogen systems
- Plug strips to replace outlets on backsplashes
- Switches on bottom of upper cabinets — for a provocatively uncluttered backsplash look
- More sinks ― add a second or even a third
- Unusual shaped stainless sink, like Elkay’s curvy “Mystic” sink
- Commercial-grade gas stoves and ovens with six to eight burners
- Pot-filler faucets behind the stove
- Stained concrete
- Patterns stained into existing wood floors
- Decorative border inlays in tile, wood and laminate flooring
- Bamboo floors
- Stainless with integrated off-the-rack stainless sink
- Gleaming slabs of granite and natural stone
- Glass mosaic tiles
- Tumbled marble backsplashes with matching granite inserts
- Tile or granite all the way around window and sink wall
- Stainless steel tiles mixed with smooth rounded edges and interesting shapes
- Furniture-grade finishes in natural woods, such as maple or cherry
- Backlit fretwork valances
- Bun feet, pilasters, arches over windows and vent hood
- More drawers, drawers, drawers. (Did I mention full extension?)
- Wheels on islands and workstations
- Multiple height countertops for different task and differing user heights (Don’t forget the kids.)
- Beveled glass upper cabinet doors and large drawers to showcase items within
- Narrow pull-out shelves in base and upper cabinets that hold small appliances and spices
- Sculpted metal upper cabinet door inserts
Window and Skylights
- Clerestory windows above cabinets for indirect daylight in spaces with 9-foot or taller ceilings
- Insulated picture windows to highlight the view outside
- Tubular skylights with internal lights (serve as recessed lights at night)
Currently, metallic finishes account for more than 15% of sales, while enamel units account for less than 3% percent, according to KitchenAid.
- Flat panel TV on adjustable bracket
- Wine chillers and unique wine displays
- Counter-depth or drawer refrigerators
- Raised dishwashers
- Internet-connected refrigerators that can order your favorite wine when you’re running out
- Matching cabinet fronts for dishwashers, trash compactors, icemakers and refrigerators to make them “disappearing appliances”
- Custom art panels for the fridge or backsplash, made of stainless steel for a true one-of-a kind look
Also, the “retro look,” in which new energy-efficient appliances now look like the funky old ones, has some baby boomers going ga-ga.
Talk to your home owners about these and all the other cool kitchen innovations that seem to cross our desks each week. If you want your clients to have fun in the kitchen, make their kitchen fun.
Dan Bawden, CAPS, CGR, GMB , is president of Legal Eagle Contractors in Houston, and the winner of the "Texas Remodeler of the Year" three times, the Houston Remodeler of the Year twice, Big 50 winner and National Remodeler of the Month, among others. Bawden teaches other builders and remodelers at Certified Graduate Remodeler/Graduate Builder Institute classes at the "CGR College" he began in Houston while he was the Remodelors™ Council president. For more information, contact Bawden via e-mail or through his company’s Web site.
The NAHB University of Housing Offers Designation Programs and Other Courses
The NAHB University of Housing offers CAPS, CGR, CGB and a variety of other professional designation programs and business management courses that set builders and remodelers apart from the competition. To learn more about NAHB’s designation programs, visit www.nahb.org/designations. For a complete list of all current education offerings, click here.
Who Will Be the Next Remodelor™ of the Month?
The Remodelor™ of the Month (this link is accessible to Remodelors™ Council members only) award program is underway. Don't miss your opportunity to be named the Remodelor™ of the Month.
The program groups local councils from different states into designated months. There will be two “wild card” months that will allow the council’s members-at-large to participate in the program. A winner will be chosen each month and that winner will then be automatically included in the nominations for the Remodelor™ of the Year award.
This is a great opportunity for local councils and members to get involved and submit their “best of the best” members to compete with other councils. The national Remodelors™ Council will send out press releases and highlight each winner in ReNews, the Remodelors™ Council e-newsletter.