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Article:: Kitchen Makeover Magic -- Let the Fun Begin!

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Kitchen Makeover Magic -- Let the Fun Begin!

By Stephen Saint-Onge

(ARA) - If there's one thing I love about being a designer, it's the ability to create all kinds of spaces for any room of the home. From the bedroom to the living room, I've had the opportunity to turn some of the most challenging spaces into warm, cozy retreats for families around the world.

Well, now it's my turn! For the Philips Designing at Home campaign, I'll be doing a makeover in my very own kitchen. Of course, I've designed our previous homes, but this time it's going to be a little bit different. This time, with the help of Philips Electronics, I'll be bringing technology into my kitchen in a way I haven't done before.

Getting Started

Whenever I begin any makeover, I start by thinking about how the family will use the space. Like many families, the kitchen is the heart of my home -- a place for cooking, entertaining, studying or just enjoying each other's company. Because I love to cook, it was important for me to have open counter space for chopping up vegetables for our favorite dishes and reliable appliances for cooking and refrigeration. Since my wife enjoys entertaining, it was also important to have a well-lit environment that is not only functional, but aesthetically appealing for the visitors who would be floating through the kitchen during any one of our yearly family gatherings.

I put my mental notes into a kitchen sketch, then called my contractor Dave West to get started. Dave owns a reputable building company that is also a certified member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). He took a look at the sketch, we talked about the details of the project and then we got started!

The Design

Although I know what I love, I don't mind getting input from some of the industry's best. That's why I'm working with a kitchen designer and a lighting designer. Together, they will help me create the final lighting "look and feel" for the kitchen. Lighting is a key element to the design of any room, so we're working together to create an ideal lighting plan for my kitchen complete with under-cabinet lighting and pendant lighting over the island. Traditional white cabinetry from, dependable appliances and classy white, two-inch blinds from will help round out the mechanics of our family's brand new kitchen.

When I design kitchens for other families, I often focus on bringing color into the space. After all, most people don't consider a red wall or orange accents a traditional part of kitchen d?cor. Personally, though, I prefer white. White walls, white tile, white dishware, white everything! It's so clean and simple and I can accent with all kinds of color appliances and accessories throughout the room. For example, I'll be using a blue Senseo coffeemaker in my all white kitchen. This revolutionary new coffeemaker from Philips makes the perfect cup of gourmet coffee in just 60 seconds and it'll add just the right touch of color to my sparkling white tile countertop.

The Technology

When we think of technology in the kitchen, we may think of the Jetsons. Remember the voice-activated appliances and robot-controlled gadgets that made everything seem so fast and easy? While we're not quite there yet (maybe we'll have robots to do the dishes in 20 years), there are technology solutions for the kitchen that are customized to suit our kitchen needs and enhance our lifestyles.

For example, a refrigerated storage drawer allows you to neatly store fruits, vegetables or other dry foods in a cool place that is camouflaged as a drawer on the island unit. No more overflowing bins in the refrigerator -- here's another nifty place to store your food!

My wife and I have also decided to carve out some space for a mini-home office in the kitchen. Creating a separate work space for multitasking within the kitchen is another option many families have begun to explore. In our kitchen, we're going to have a small table with a computer that will allow us to quickly access all kinds of news, tips and recipes or get a little bit of business done just before winding down for the evening. Maybe your kids can even get their homework done in the kitchen while dinner is cooking in the oven.

Philips has also introduced its new MiraVision mirror television which is available in a customized picture frame in either horizontal or vertical orientation. This unique television looks like it's only a mirror at first glance, but at the touch of a button, you can start to watch your favorite cooking shows in the kitchen while you unload the groceries and stock the shelves. This is by far my favorite kitchen "gadget" because it's aesthetically appealing and functional all at once -- now that's some great 21st century technology even the Jetsons would be proud of!

The Finishing Touches

When I look at the space I've conceptualized come to life, I start thinking about the finishing touches. Like any homeowner, I want our home to be comfortable, functional and inviting for every member of my family. I love everything from black and white pictures to knick knacks from my international travels. Many times, those finishing touches come together after all the major pieces of the makeover project are complete.

Stay Tuned . . .

Even with all my experience designing for families and production sets, I know there will be some highlights and some low points throughout this process. Thankfully, the days here have been clear and sunny while all the delivery guys and construction workers come in and out of my house all day!

For the next five weeks, I'll be sharing my kitchen "makeover magic" with you on the www.designingathome.com Web site. Log on to view actual footage from every aspect of the makeover -- conversations with my contractor, major product installations and sheer moments of frustration. It'll all be caught on tape and downloaded onto the Web site.

I'll also be collaborating with many of our Philips Designing at Home partners to answer your questions about getting started with your own kitchen makeover, hiring a contractor, choosing appliances and furniture or taking care of the installation process from start to finish. If you have some specific questions of your own, feel free to e-mail me at stephen@designingathome.com.

Courtesy of ARA Content

Authors Website: http://www.aracontent.com/

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