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What's cooking in kitchens Special To The Star-news | Sat, Sep 18 2010 12:00 PM

Although buying a home is the largest investment most people will ever make, the decision doesn't have to be as daunting as it may seem to many. There are some simple guidelines that can help you find a home you will be happy with for a very long time.

A recent study conducted by Merillat, a leading manufacturer of cabinetry, found that the kitchen is the most influential room when deciding to buy a home, followed by the great room and then the master bedroom.

"The kitchen is the gathering place for special occasions, family functions and day-to-day activities, which is why it is so important for prospective buyers to ensure that their new kitchen will meet the needs of their family from a design and functionality perspective," said design expert Paul Radoy.

The kitchen deserves special attention when shopping for a new home and has many aspects not always visible with a quick glance. Follow these two simple guidelines and you'll be better able to decide if the kitchen is right for you.

Keep A Checklist

* Do I like the layout of the kitchen? (Consider the kitchen from an overall perspective and keep in mind all the items that will require storage.)

* Does the kitchen look comfortable and make me feel good when I'm in it?

* Does the kitchen help facilitate frequent casual interactions with family and friends? (Consider the views into the surrounding rooms. Do the spaces enable you to easily associate with family and friends?)

* Is the cabinetry durable and well built? Is the finish on the cabinetry smooth and consistent?

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