Dreaming of a New Kitchen

(ARA) - Has the idea of entertaining this season thrown you into a state of panic? Are you dreading the idea of family and friends crammed into your kitchen while you desperately try to make the perfect meal? Throw off the ghost of entertaining past by making your kitchen “wish list” a reality.

Instead of exchanging sweaters and socks with your family this year, make a resolution to give each other something that will benefit all -- the kitchen of your dreams. You may not realize it, but this time of year can be the perfect time for a kitchen renovation.

Timing Is Everything

Think you should wait until spring to start your kitchen remodel? Think again. According to Edward Willmott, owner of Stillwater Renovations in Cleveland, Ohio, “Business for contractors and builders tends to be slower from December through February, since few people want to take on a major construction project in the middle of winter. This means we can spend more time with a homeowner to create a space that will be ideal for their current and future entertaining needs,” he says.

Where to Start

Rethink your kitchen design and focus on an open floor plan. Willmott suggests opening up part of the room, creating a half wall, installing a center island and adding more counters as some of the options available to create more space in your kitchen. “Better yet, why not combine an informal dining area with a family room? This will bring the party to where it has always tried to be -- right in the center of the action -- the kitchen,” Willmott adds.

Designated Prep Areas

A center island or extended counter with designated preparation areas makes it easier for guests to lend a helping hand in the preparation of the meal. To make the most effective use of your space, consider installing a small vegetable washing sink in addition to your regular sink. Wish for a Lancelot sink from Moen. The Lancelot sinks come in a range of sizes and depths with round, square, or even extra-deep, D-shaped bowl configurations. These stainless steel sinks are undercoated with soundproofing technology to help deaden the sound of silverware and clanging pots.

For added convenience in the kitchen, another item to consider for your wish list is a high arc, pull-down faucet. One such example is the Aberdeen faucet by Moen. It’s ideal for filling large pots or pitchers of water. Plus, the faucet’s patented pause button can temporarily stop the flow of water as the wand moves from the sink. This convenient feature makes filling large coffee urns a breeze.

Other handy products to complete the ideal prep area include…
• A small pull-out shelf in the false front of your sink to store sponges and cleaning brushes and reduce counter clutter.
• A specially-designed cutlery drawer with a roll-out cutting board to keep knives together and off the counter.
• A small refrigerated drawer to keep produce fresh and at-hand for meal preparation.
• Drawer-mounted dishwashing units near each sink to reduce the amount of cleanup at each station. These new appliances are capable of holding up to five place settings and can manage pots, pans and cutlery.

The Beverage Center

Now that you have envisioned a designated food preparation area, think how wonderful it would be to have a self-contained beverage station in your kitchen as well. Your contractor can help you draw up a plan to include some of these perfect kitchen “gifts.” A wine chilling drawer in your island can maintain optimal temperatures for up to 40 bottles of wine. Chardonnays and sparkling wines can be kept at one temperature while red wines can be kept at another temperature ideal for serving. A refrigerator drawer mounted under the counter, complete with ice maker, can store your mixers, beer and sodas for guests as well. The new ice making units are capable of producing up to 40 pounds of ice -- enough to suit all of your future entertaining needs.

The Coffee Station

The gift of hot coffee for all can be right at your fingertips with a built-in coffee and cappuccino maker. These new units have a designated water line and no longer need to be manually filled with water. These coffee makers can grind and produce multiple cups of coffee at one time. No longer will you have to wait five minutes between each frothy cup. A warming drawer under the coffee maker can keep cups warm for piping, hot cups of coffee.

Hot Food

Wish your food would cook itself? The next best thing is an oven with steaming features or convection capabilities that can cook food much faster than in the past. Vegetable side dishes can be cooked in less than twenty minutes, while a 20-pound turkey can be cooked in half the time. Keeping the food warm while other dishes are still cooking is a snap with today’s new warming drawers. These units are capable of maintaining a range of temperatures to keep breads, vegetables and even desserts warm and moist for hours. No longer will foods dry out or end up cold while guests wait for the rest of the food to cook.

With some thoughtful planning, you can give yourself a great gift this year -- the kitchen of your dreams. You and your family will be sure to celebrate many years of very merry entertaining.

For more information about Moen products, visit www.moen.com or call (800) BUY-MOEN.

Article courtesy of ARA Content

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