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Capture Your Own Essence of Emeril with a New Kitchen Remodel:

If you're one of the few Americans that still doesn't know who super chef Emeril Lagasse is, then it's probably about time you come out of the cave you've been hiding in. After all, the reigning king of Creole cooking has risen from the status of an up-and-coming culinary artist to become one of the most recognizable celebrity chefs in America. Just how did he do it? Talent, ambition, and a few good breaks didn't hurt any, but you could make the case that his knack for innovation has had more than a little to do with his success. That said, if you're looking to harness a little bit of chef Lagasse's magic for your very own, you're going to need a kitchen to match. Here's a list of 7 of the most innovative kitchen design trends in the industry to help you capture your own Essence of Emeril the next time you cook up dinner!

Layered Lighting: Kick it Up a Notch!
The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) knows more about kitchen and bath remodels than anybody else in the industry, and they are not afraid to show it off at their annual Kitchen and Bath Industry Show and Conference. According to the NKBA, it was kitchen lighting that stole the show in 2008. You name it, they had it, including under cabinet lighting, interior cabinet lighting, task lighting, recessed lighting, dim accent lighting, and over cabinet lighting. Throw it all into a single package and you've got one of the hottest trends in the industry: layered lighting. As Emeril would say: Aw, Yea, Babe!

New Appliances (Smaller is Better)
Anybody who watches Emeril on the Food Network knows he loves his kitchen appliances, be it his food processor, or the wall ovens that he's always pulling delicious looking culinary creations from. Apparently Emeril's not alone. According to Kitchen and Bath Business (also known as KB&B), studies show that new, professional grade appliances are number one on most homeowner wish lists, beating out even custom cabinetry and premium countertops for the top spot. Throw a new generation of space saving, high efficiency appliances into the mix, such as induction cooktops, microwave drawers, French door wall ovens, and horizontal dishwashers, and it's no wonder that homeowners get excited about appliances when remodeling time rolls around.

Organization, Organization, Organization
Besides lighting, the NKBA also highlighted the wonders of modern custom and semi-custom cabinetry design at the 2008 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show and Conference. The days are long past when a lazy Susan got all the buzz. Hidden pantries, slide out organizers, and tiered cabinet designs allow homeowners to store more stuff in less space than ever before. If you're going to cook like Emeril, you're going to need plenty of extra room for storing all his signature spices and cookbooks!

Get Granite
Everybody knows that Emeril loves garlic, garlic, and more garlic when he's cooking up a storm. But what about the other "g" that's a must have in the kitchen? The Kitchen Bath and Business study that we mentioned above found that 94% of kitchen designers named granite countertops as the most sought after countertop material in the business. Doesn't matter whether you go solid slab, or cut your costs with granite tile, the winning combination of great looks and unrivaled durability make granite the cream of the crop when choosing a countertop material.

Computers in the Kitchen
Don't want to miss an episode of the Essence of Emeril, or Emeril Live, while you're cooking dinner? Or maybe you're just not sure what to cook in the first place and want to look up one of Emeril Lagasse's recipes online before you fire up the oven? According to the NAKB, homeowners can now opt for a high tech, modern American kitchen, and do all of the above at the same time. With space saving designs and technological advances, you can now flip down an undercabinet flat screen television to catch Emeril on the tube, and look up online recipes using the computer console on your refrigerator. No, we're not making this up. It's all really out there if you're willing to pay the asking price.

Cooking in Crowds
Nobody would argue that Emeril likes cooking in a crowd. In fact, he's made a living doing it. And while you probably won't need space for a TV audience or a live band to back you up, Kitchen Bath and Business notes that two thirds of the major kitchen remodels today are designed with multiple cooks in mind. Multiple cook stations and fully outfitted kitchen islands are becoming standard fare as American kitchens continue to cement their status as the heart of the home, whether you're entertaining a houseful of guests, or your family gathers around the kitchen table in the evening to pay bills, get some homework done, and drink a cup of tea before bed. As Emeril is so fond of saying: Feel the love, baby!

Kitchen Design

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