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Tips for shopping for appliances, lighting and fixtures to upgrade your kitchen

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 8.32.00 AMWhether you’re remodeling your kitchen or simply replacing dated appliances, now is a great time to take advantage of some of the many price-busting post holiday sales! Shopping for appliances and fixtures like lighting, faucets, even a new sink can be fun and exciting at first, but can turn confusing and exhausting in no time. If you and your spouse or partner have different design ideas, attempts to find common ground can add friction to an already stressful task.

Before you head out the door, review these tips for appliance and fixture shopping that might help make the task go a lot more smoothly:

Start small and check out all your options

gas rangeBelieve it or not, the big box warehouse stores aren’t the only game in town. You might want to begin by checking out smaller specialty and boutique showrooms, which can offer expert sales staff, products that you might not find in the warehouse stores, and surprisingly competitive prices. The attentive staffs that work in smaller specialty appliance stores can provide a great education when it comes to important facts about your options and selections that you may not get from a large chain store. If you still want to visit the big box stores before you purchase, at least you will go armed with valuable facts and a better idea of what’s available.

Prepare to meet in the middle on style choices

couple refrig shopping

If your significant other has an entirely different design esthetic than you, start by browsing online for inspiration and finding items each of you like. If you’re unable to agree on anything, it might be time to call in a designer to help you find appliances and fixtures that suite both of your design ideals, and are best suited for the home. Design is more than just finding pretty things that work well together. It’s an art and a science that requires an understanding of form, function and space, and designers are experts with knowledge of an enormous scope of products. A good designer can solve your style issues, enhance the value of your home after the renovation is complete, and maybe help preserve your relationship.

Try something new

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 8.26.13 AM

If you think that upgrading appliances, faucets, sinks or lighting fixtures is a fairly standard task, you probably haven’t been in the market for them in a very long time. There’s no better time to take advantage of the opportunity to move beyond your comfort zone and select at least one new design element you may not have considered before. Instead of stainless steel, consider a copper finish for the sink and faucet. While you’re looking at faucets, consider the “touchless” kind, which is easier when your hands are full or covered in kitchen mess. Plus, touchless faucets significantly reduce water use, a savings that will quickly show up on your water bill. New appliances and fixtures that conform to universal design concepts can add serious resale value to your home without over-customizing.

Shop around, browse the Internet and discover all the options available to you before you start upgrading or renovating.

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