Friday, January 14, 2005

Today's Owners Are 'Smart' Gadgeteers

An increasing number of home owners are spending more time at home and looking for comfort in the latest technologies and building materials. The focus is primarily on the kitchen as families spend more time there cooking, eating, working and entertaining. They are opting for stoves that both cook and refrigerate food; refrigerators equipped with video recorders, inventory monitors and Internet access; warming drawers; appliances that blend in with the cabinetry; larger or multiple dishwashers; and commercial-grade stoves with more than one oven. Rather than traditional cherry and maple cabinets with brass hardware, today's home owners prefer antique finishes, bead-board patterns and pewter or brushed nickel or bronze. Fingerprint-resistant stainless steel and low-maintenance synthetic-stone countertops are also popular. Home owners are upgrading other areas as well, putting cabinets, utility sinks and high-tech washers and dryers in their laundry rooms; installing steam showers, multi-jet shower systems and Jacuzzis with built-in televisions and DVD players in their master suites; and creating home theaters with surround sound and plasma televisions. Even hardwood floors are being spruced up with tile insets or borders comprised of several different types of wood.

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