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Practical Kitchen Design is Winning Recipe to 2006 Homebuyers
By Mark Nash

Open shelving, gleaming granite counter tops and glass doors on refrigerators are the rage in kitchen design today. But these looks don't fool many who have interacted with them. Homebuyers in 2006 look for practical design options to make their time in the kitchen more leisure and lower day-to-day maintenance.

Mark Nash author of 1001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home (2005) shares tips for efficient kitchen design that for home chefs. Homebuyers have told Nash what works and what doesn't in the lives of todays fast-paced, time-starved home gourmets, holiday bakers and occasional cooks. Those looking to build, update or remodel a kitchen could save time and money based on feedback from field-tested homebuyers.

-Fingers and pets easily soil and scratch stainless steel finishes. For an alternative use matching cabinet panels on appliances for a custom look or black appliances with black colored counter tops. Research traditional upright refrigerator options such as built-in separate refrigerated and freezer drawers.

-Trendy custom colors and ceramic tiles look great today but will look dated sooner than you think.

-Organized your dishes and glassware if you select open shelves. Consider cabinets with frosted glass doors for a similar look with less work.

-Polished granite counter tops show smudges, watermarks and wiping streaks. Research alternatives like matte finishes. Stone and concrete are hard surfaces and record every noise by glasses, dishes and pots placed on them.

-Include double-ovens to speed baking, two dishwashers for heavy entertaining and second sinks for multiple cooks.

-Donít overlook basic functional design elements for distances between workstations, appliances and sinks.

-Allocate space for people to congregate or sit when your kitchen is the focal point for entertaining in your home.

-Kitchens adjacent to great rooms with hardwood floors might require hardwood floors, but remember to have extra coats of wood sealers applied as spills and water donít mix with wood.

-Look for quality cabinets that offer features such as slide-out shelves, dovetailed drawers and solid construction.

-Specify cabinets to ceiling for extra storage. Use 32-inch tall cabinets with 10-inch glass door cabinets above to lighten look and provide dust-free display of serving pieces.

-Plan for places to store cookbooks and favorite wines within easy reach with shelves and racks built into the ends of islands.

-Pantries, under cabinet task lighting and cook top ventilation fans vented to the outside offer high returns on functionality.

-Factor in resale perceptions and values of high-end European cabinets, fixtures and appeal of commercial stoves.

Mark Nash's fourth real estate book, "1001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home" (2005), and working as a real estate broker in Chicago are the foundation for his consumer-centric real estate perspective which has been featured on ABC-TV, CBS The Early Show, Bloomberg TV, CNN-TV, Chicago Sun Times & Tribune, Fidelity Investorís Weekly, Dow Jones Market Watch, MSNBC.com, The New York Times, Realty Times, Universal Press Syndicate and USA Today.

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