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High Tech Comes to the Suburbs

When it comes to designing a kitchen, homeowners who’ve been through a remodel highly recommend finding an expert with experience they can trust. Top rated kitchen design professionals are now fluent not only in designing a functional and beautiful space, but also knowledgeable about the latest high-tech appliances and systems to take it to the next level.

More Than a Kitchen!

Today’s kitchens need to be more than just a place to cook. As the family gathering spot, they also need to be functional for kids to do their homework while a parent is working from home in between meal preparation and other household chores.

What makes a great kitchen? For starters, its proximity to the home’s entry (usually through a garage) is critical. Who wants to carry bags of groceries through several rooms to get to the kitchen, or take out trash to the garage from a long distance? Convenience is key. Kitchen remodeling in Royal Oak can entail everything from a simple update of cabinets, countertops, backsplash and appliances, to a complete revamp of the home’s space to make it better suited for future needs. Homeowners are incorporating the latest in innovative storage solutions to provide much needed space and creating a beautiful and clean environment with new cabinetry, countertops and backsplashes.

In the “olden days,” grandma’s recipe books were opened on the countertop next to the prep area and were often found covered in flour and other unrecognizable ingredients. While these may make great keepsakes, today’s cooks can enjoy a built-in touch screen with thousands of recipes literally at their fingertips.

Kitchens That are Smarter Than Most Fifth Graders

Who would ever have imagined that a refrigerator could “tell” a person that they are low on milk and eggs (or even if those remaining eggs are out of date) or a microwave they can talk to through an Alexa device? Or what about an oven with WiFi built in so it can be controlled through a smartphone? Wow!

Many homeowners find the kitchen is a perfect spot for a smart speaker like an Amazon Echo Dot or a Google Nest Mini. These are both very affordable and are designed to operate other smart devices in the home using voice commands.

For example, a cook up to his elbows in marinade may notice that he’s almost out of teriyaki sauce. He only needs to say “Alexa, add teriyaki sauce to my shopping list!” The Alexa app will show the shopping list on a smartphone next time he’s at the store.

According to SafeWise, an independent review website, “When it comes to a kitchen, smart products can make things more efficient, more precise, and safer.” Once the homeowner has developed a basic understanding of what a smart kitchen can do, they should explore all the many facets of this technology. These can range from their Alexa-controlled speaker with a built-in digital display, to even more high-tech appliances. This allows them to start and stop appliances simply with a voice command. (It won’t actually load and unload the dishwasher, though!)

One cool feature getting rave reviews is a smart faucet that accepts voice commands to turn on and off. It’s a great idea to incorporate some of these newer appliances and gadgets when planning a kitchen remodel.

Energy Savings Abound

Automating a home and kitchen helps homeowners manage their power consumption while realizing true energy savings. In addition to automatically turning off lights and appliances that are not being used, it can be programed to switch them off during the hours no one is home.

Newer appliances can also save significantly on utility bills. Shoppers should look for the Energy Star® certification to get the ideal combination of features, price and energy efficiency for their particular needs when planning a kitchen remodeling project.

Energy Star is a shared program of the federal government’s Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. Their objective is to support consumers to save money and protect the environment through the use of the most energy-efficient products. Having an Energy Star label means the products are both cost-effective and efficient. They’ve been thoroughly tested and verified using strict standards.

According to www.energystar.gov, “Energy Star products are the same or better than standard products, only they use less energy. Since they use less energy, these products save you money on your electricity bill and help protect the environment by causing fewer harmful emissions from power plants. And you get the features and quality you expect.”

One example they provide is that Energy Star qualified refrigerators must be at least 15% more efficient than the minimum federal efficiency standard. Their website has a great “Flip Your Fridge” calculator for determining energy savings based on replacing an older model with a new one. For example, choosing a new 24 cubic foot Energy Star rated French Door (bottom freezer) refrigerator to replace one from the 1990’s can save them nearly $625 in utility costs over a five year period.

Electrical Outlets and USB Ports

When remodeling a kitchen, designers are well aware of the plethora of electronics that need to be charged on a daily basis. They will recommend the ideal number of the latest state-of-the art electrical outlets with integrated USB ports and the best locations for them. Many homeowners are now opting for outlets inside their cabinets to maintain a clean and uncluttered look in the kitchen. Where there used to be “appliance garages,” there are now hidden spaces dedicated just as a charging station for all things electronic.

Remodeling Has Many Benefits

It’s obvious that remodeling has many advantages. Homeowners can enjoy their newly designed and functional space while saving money on energy costs with new, smart appliances. The investment not only pays for itself down the road when it comes time to sell, but also in the day to day enjoyment the entire family will experience! Homeowners looking for kitchen remodeling in Royal Oak can find trusted, experienced companies that can make their dreams come true.

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