BY ERIK J. MARTIN
AMERICANS LOVE their kitchens. In
fact, ;; percent of home shoppers rank
this space as their favorite in the home,
per a recent Realtor.com survey. And
Houzz.com, a website that focuses on
architecture, interior design and home
improvement, reports that kitchens top
the list among interiors most frequently
renovated in ;;;;, at ;; percent.
But cooking up an appealing remodeling recipe for this room can be tricky.
“The kitchen is always one of the most
daunting rooms for a lot of my clients,” says
interior designer Nate Berkus. “People
really struggle to see a kitchen come to
life—how will that paint color work with
that floor option, or with that finish? There
are a lot of choices to make, and it can be
Fortunately, a new online tool can make
this process easier for Costco members: LG
STUDIO’s Virtual Designer tool (go to
Costco.com and search “LG Built In”).
Boasting a user-friendly interface, ;-D
graphics and interactive options, Virtual
Designer helps you visualize what your fin-
ished dream kitchen could look like.
Challenges and choices
While the Virtual Designer serves as
an excellent concept visualization tool,
Berkus, who works with LG on the Virtual
Designer program, says kitchen planning
can often take longer than you expect, so
patience is required. The hardest part is
recognizing and designing to fit the flow
and practical use of the space.
“A well-thought-out floor plan is key,”
he says. “For example, do you want a kitchen
island? Can you move your cooktop there
to give yourself more counter space, or
do you want to use your island as a place
Lastly, remember that, while every
kitchen decision you make can be impor-
tant, some are more crucial than others.
“Appliances are the most essential components of every kitchen,” notes Berkus.
“All the time you may spend agonizing over
cabinetry finish, backsplash and counter-top selections really doesn’t matter if your
appliances aren’t best in class and fully
dependable. When your dinner guests ring
your doorbell but your oven doesn’t work,
the last thing they are going to notice is
what your backsplash looks like.” C
Costco member Erik J. Martin
( martinspiration.blogspot.com) is a freelance writer based in the Chicago area.
Create the perfect
kitchen with LG STUDIO’s
online Virtual Designer
Interior designer and LG
S TUDIO’s Virtual Designer
expert Nate Berkus.
RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
DREAMING ABOUT a new kitchen but
don’t know where to start? Interior
designer Nate Berkus offers these tips:
• Make efficiency, practicality and ease
of use your most important priorities.
• Decide first on proper placement of
your appliances based on desired room
flow. “You need to anticipate the way
the space will be used,” says Berkus.
• Select classic colors, finishes and
materials that will stand the test of time.
“Stay away from trends. Your goal should
be to design a forever kitchen—one that
you love today and for many years from
now,” says Berkus, who cites white
subway tile, marble countertops, brass
hardware, neutral paint colors like gray
or putty for cabinets and high-end stainless steel appliances as ingredients for
an ageless kitchen.
• Enlist the expertise of a professional designer when in doubt. Also,
consult closely with the professional
remodeler you ultimately choose.
• Budget your dollars carefully. The
national average cost for a kitchen
remodel is $21,729, with high-end jobs
hewing closer to $50,000 and up, per
HomeAdvisor, a website that matches
homeowners with home-improvement
professionals ( homeadvisor.com).—EJM
There are a variety of LG STUDIO kitchen
appliances, as well as appliances from
other major manufacturers, on Costco.com.