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Consumer Reports Kitchen Planning and Buying Guide

Consumer Reports Kitchen Planning and Buying Guide April 2018

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Consumer Reports Kitchen & Planning Buying Guide will help you get the kitchen you’ve always wanted at a price you can afford. Filled with our exclusive buying advice and ratings, best & worst products, real-world and test-based approach, you’ll be shopping smarter and getting the best kitchen—for less

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United States
Consumer Reports, Inc.

in this issue

1 min.
meet the dream (kitchen) team

A kitchen that’s bright and open, outfitted for serious (or not so serious) cooking, and great for gathering: That’s the dream, isn’t it? And it’s one we can help you turn into reality. Consumer Report’s team of kitchen pros—editors, researchers, market experts, and more—is on your side, sharing research insights straight from our labs. Ready to shop? Turn to the Buying Guide on page 44. Our engineers run exhaustive tests on thousands of products from fridges to flooring to faucets and much more to help you buy the best. Our surveys of thousands of CR subscribers reveal which brands break, so that you can avoid pricey repairs. You can trust our advice because we’re nonpro.t and independent: We buy all of the products we test and we accept no ads. Feeling confident that…

4 min.

TREND WATCH Mood Indigo Give your kitchen the blues with a splash of indigo. This not-quite-navy hue is as versatile as it is beautiful, because it mixes just as well with cool shades, like gray, as it does with springy greens and even warm oranges and yellows. Shown here: Le Creuset’s Signature collection of enameled cast-iron cookware, in Ink, from $100 to $370; crateandbarrel.com In the Mood for Indigo Home Help On the Go, and Online Need some assistance with your kitchen’s design or organization, or someone to install a new light fixture? These resources have got you covered. HOMEE Download the Homee on Demand app, free, for iOS or Android, and you’ll be connected to a network of pre-vetted plumbers, electricians, and HVAC contractors who will respond to a job request within seconds, and show up 24/7,…

8 min.
the healthy, happy kitchen

Show Off Smart Snacks Putting better-for-you foods where they’re easy to see makes people more likely to choose them. Encourage More Socializing An open layout with plenty of seating encourages family together-time. Let in the Sunlight Natural light boosts moods and cuts the need for electric lighting, saving on energy costs. IT’S AN UNDENIABLE, unavoidable fact: Everyone will always end up in the kitchen, no matter what else is going on around the house. Kids abandon their desks to do homework at the breakfast table. Teens snap each other from across the island. Spouses and partners recount their days while lingering in front of the fridge. Guests desert the living room to lean against a counter with their drinks. Given this magnetic ability of the kitchen to encourage gathering, it makes sense when renovating to create…

7 min.
home cooking made easy

WHEN THE GOING gets tough, the tough order takeout. Last year Americans spent about $720_billion at restaurants, a 19 percent increase since 2012 and almost half of what we spent on food overall. But restaurant meals—and the frozen ones we heat up when we’re pressed for time—are often high in fat and sodium, which means that what we gain in convenience we often lose in terms of a healthy diet. “The only way to have complete control over ingredients and portion size is to cook at home,” says Maxine Siegel, a CR dietitian. “But finding time for that can often be quite a challenge for people.” One way home cooks are bucking the takeout trend and eating more healthy foods is with countertop appliances that reduce prep and cooking time and…

3 min.
7 weekend makeovers

1. Add Style With Tile If you’re a savvy DIYer, tile installation is a relatively simple job and a great way to give your kitchen a custom look. Expect to pay between $3 and $5 per square foot of tile on average. (Handmade or imported tiles may cost much more.) Don’t want to take on the project—or need a fix that isn’t permanent? Search online for removable faux-tile wallpaper. Some styles look remarkably real. 2. Pick Pops of Color Whether in bursts of sunny yellow or sparks of fireengine red, bright accents can breathe new energy into a mostly neutral space. To keep the effect from looking chaotic, choose one or two colors and then repeat them around the room. Painting a pantry door in a bold hue, for example, adds fun in…

3 min.
brighter and better

AFTER EIGHT YEARS of living with a design that “just wasn’t us,” Andrea and Craig Altshuler were finally ready to update the kitchen in their Westchester County, NY, townhouse. The old kitchen was reasonably functional—except for one non-working double oven and a finicky temperature control on the other—but the style was circa 1987—and the all-white color palette wasn’t ideal for a family with two young children. “The white tile floor showed everything. We were mopping constantly,” says Andrea. The couple knew what they wanted, but not exactly how to achieve it. “We’re not fancy people,” says Andrea. “We needed the kitchen to be functional and usable. I wanted to be able to throw my bag on the counter and not worry about denting or staining it. And we wanted a more…