Cabinetry: Not Just For Kitchens Anymore

More and more, kitchen design specialists are serving the "other room" markets across the country. From entertainment centers to wine storage to laundry rooms, consumers are finding that other areas of their home can be designed with cabinetry that blends attractively with other furnishings.

"Custom-built storage areas are definitely a growing trend," explains Annette DePaepe, CKD, CBD, ASID. Consumers are looking for more ‘open-space design.’ If they take out walls when remodeling their kitchen the adjacent room is sometimes also designed with pieces that integrate the look of furniture with cabinetry from the kitchen."

She notes that consumers today are more organized and want to put everything n its own place.

For instance, media centers are not just for televisions. Custom-built pieces in family and great rooms for televisions, stereo systems and video equipment are turning ordinary rooms into ones that resemble concert halls, movie theaters and video arcades - all in one!

"The cabinetry can then be closed off for formal entertaining, allowing for a piece that’s flexible and multi-functional," DePaepe adds.

In addition, many people are seeking designers to plan sophisticated and unique display areas that resemble furniture. Custom or stock cabinetry can be stacked and assembled with glass doors for collectibles or art. Interior lighting can be added to accent your treasures. These designs can create a beautiful visual interest for any room in the house.

Other areas growing in design are desk areas - whether it’s a home office or living room space - for computers.

"More and more people are working from home and doing household organization on the computer," DePaepe says. "This opens up many opportunities for other room designs."

Long ago, utility rooms were planned simply with a tub, washboard and a clothesline. Today’s room, however, has become one of primary importance to meet housekeeping needs.

Custom cabinetry can be designed with fold-down or pull-out bins for sorting soiled laundry, and separate countertop areas can be planned for pre-treating stains, sorting and folding. Storage for laundry supplies can also be incorporated above the washer and dryer. A special area for sewing or mending is also possible, complete with specialized shelving, divided drawers and enough table space for cutting out patterns.

The utility room can also be equipped with a space-saving, built-in ironing board for convenience, while a cleaning closet for storing brooms, mops, waxes, soaps and buckets is a great advantage for household management.

"Some consumers are even asking that the room incorporate space for such activities as gardening," DePaepe notes.

Elegant serving areas, such as bar centers, are being included in kitchens, family and living rooms at an ever-growing pace. The bar can be as simple or as elaborate as space will allow. Cabinetry can be designed to store liquor and glasses, as well as hold an icemaker or under-the-counter refrigerator.

American’s love for wine is coming home, too, in the form of displays or storage areas just for these beloved beverages. The designer can incorporate an area in a bar, or a separate cellar display designed exclusively for the wine can be built.

If this is the case, the designer can plan more than just bottle storage. Rocks or bins can be installed on three or four walls, while the remaining area can be used for a tasting table and storage for cork screws, tasting cups, decanters, candles, wine labels, copies of your favorite restaurant wine lists, even vineyard maps and wine prints. All of these can add those individual touches to reflect the homeowner’s lifestyle.

DePaepe suggests that consumers seek the advice of a Certified Kitchen Designer and/or hire a firm that belongs to the National Kitchen & Bath Association when they’re ready to plan their area.

"These professionals can provide consumers with storage solutions that ready-made furniture cannot. And custom-built centers can be designed to meet individual needs, as well."

For more information on finding a designer in your area, contact NKBA at (800) 401-NKBA, ext. 810, or visit their Web site at www.nkba.org.

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