CSI Kitchen & Bath Studio

CSI Kitchen & Bath Studio

Monday, October 10, 2016


What does your ideal kitchen look like? What would you include in your dream kitchen? The answers are different for everyone, but there are certain features that everyone agrees are must haves.
1. Plenty of storage: The ideal kitchen has plenty of space to store all of your cooking equipment. The best way to add storage if you lack square footage is to go up. Take advantage of all the ceiling height you can by installing tall wall cabinets. If you have a high ceiling you can create a dramatic look with stacked wall cabinets that may have glass in the upper portion perfect to display your favorite decorative pieces.

Get creative with custom cabinet features that maximize storage. A blind corner cabinet, for instance can have one of several devices that make it easier to access items. One is a “magic corner” which is a chrome wire pullout with baskets. Another popular one is the “Le Mans” unit which as two kidney-shaped sliding shelves. Tall pantry pullouts make the most of a narrow space, and rollout shelves in base cabinets make accessibility easy. Don’t forget customized drawer accessories like cutlery trays, spice and knife inserts. Don’t forget to provide special shelving for that cookbook collection.

2. Appliances: You, of course, will want your ideal kitchen to have the latest in appliances. One trend, especially if you entertain a lot, is to have two dishwashers to make clean-up a breeze. A professional-style rangetop with a built-in griddle is a feature most cooks would love to have. Double ovens and a warming drawer are a must when cooking for a crowd. And don’t forget specialty appliances like steam ovens, built-in coffee systems, and extra refrigeration space like under counter refrigerated drawers, beverage centers or wine storage units. An extra ice maker is also handy for entertaining.

3. Lighting: Great lighting can make the difference between a good kitchen and a “Wow” kitchen. Lots of natural light from large windows is a must. Of course, you need general ambient lighting, specific task lighting and lighting for atmosphere. Be sure to include under-cabinet LED lighting, recessed ceiling cans for general lighting and pendants or fixtures over islands. If you have glass-fronted cabinets you will want to have interior lighting to sparkle off crystal and china. For special lighting consider rope lighting above the cabinets as well as below the toekick area. Dimmers on most of the lighting are the best way to create atmosphere and set a mood when entertaining.

4. One feature that most people would include in a dream kitchen is a large island with seating. The island incorporates many functions. The large surface is great for food preparation, it can double as a buffet for serving, and it contains lots of storage. It is perfect for creating a convivial atmosphere for chatting with friends and family and to keep an eye on the kids as they do their homework.

5. Style: Everyone’s idea of what the perfect kitchen looks like is different, but there are some elements that will elevate your kitchen above the norm. The cabinetry you choose is the furniture of the room and sets the mood. Hardware is the jewelry of the kitchen and adds extra flair. Color is essential in creating mood and making the kitchen a pleasant place to work. Add special touches like barn doors for the pantry, open beams, marble countertops or a special tile pattern for the floor to individualize the space.

Whether you are planning to build a new house, or remodel your current one, plan your dream kitchen for comfort, storage, functionality and beauty and make it as individual as you are.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Remodeling and the Lead-Based Paint Factor

We all want to make sure that we are living in a safe, healthy environment.  One area where we do have control is in our own homes. 

Lead is one of the most dangerous elements that can be present in a home, and young children, especially under two years of age, are the most sensitive to lead poisoning.  Lead was frequently used in paints prior to 1978, and flaking, peeling, and cracking paint create dust that can be breathed through the air, or ingested by inquisitive children by chewing on or touching painted surfaces such as window sills, stair railings and door frames.  Though some lead is naturally present in the outdoors, lead-based exterior paint can flake off and contaminate the soil around the home and be tracked indoors so it is important to remove shoes at the door and wash hands. 

The risks of lead exposure to young children include lower IQ, slower growth, learning and behavior problems and anemia.  Unborn children are at risk also as lead is stored in the mother's body and can be transferred to the fetus and via breast milk to the infant.  Adults are not immune either, and high levels of lead in the body can lead to cardiovascular problems, hypertension, kidney and reproductive issues among others.

The good news is that lead poisoning is entirely preventable.  For one thing, lead-free paint was banned for residential use in 1978, so if your home is newer than that, there should not be cause for concern.  According to the EPA, houses built between 1960 and 1977 are 24% more likely to contain lead-based paint than newer homes; between 1940 and 1959 69% more likely; and before 1940 87% more likely.   But even if your house was built prior to 1978, if the paint is in good condition; i.e., not peeling, cracking, or flaking, and sealed under layers of newer paint, then there may be no cause for alarm.  Frequent wiping down of painted surfaces and vacuuming with a HEPA filter are good practices.  But if in doubt, it is wise to test for the presence of lead.   

However, if a home is being remodeled, and was built prior to 1978, it is likely that paint will be disturbed in the process.  It is important to have the paint in the home tested for lead content.   The EPA's Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP Rule) "requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities and pre-schools built before 1978 have their firm certified by EPA (or an EPA authorized state), use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers and follow lead-safe work practices".  In Georgia, that means that a Certified Renovator must be licensed by the Georgia Environmental Protection Department (EPD) to supervise all RRP-regulated projects and to perform lead testing on all surfaces that will be disturbed. 

The removal of lead is a federally mandated process.  A lead test must be performed on any home from 1978 or older by a certified renovator.  The certified renovator must wear very specific protection gear and properly secure the area being affected with multiple layers of protection.  If the paint involved is outdoors, the soil or immediate area must be properly covered.  One area which is generally overlooked is in window replacement.  Windows in homes from 1978 or older may contain lead and can contaminate the area outside and inside the house if it does contain lead and areas are not properly protected. 

If your home was built prior to 1978, and you are planning to remodel, be sure to use a certified renovator to test for lead. 

For more information from the Environmental Protection Agency on how to keep your home safe and lead-free visit  http://www.epa.gov/lead/protect-your-family#sl-home






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