Welcome to Kitchen Views’ Designer Blog

Kitchen Views is a kitchen & bath design company with six unique design showrooms; located at four National Lumber locations in Massachusetts, at National Building Products in Warwick, RI and now at Oxford Lumber in Oxford, CT. From contemporary to traditional cabinetry, countertops, decorative hardware and more, our designers will even come to you. We serve the Greater Boston area and all of New England. This blog has been dedicated to offering you the best kitchen remodeling advice from our design experts here at Kitchen Views.

We have recently welcomed two new designers to the Kitchen Views team. Gabe Cabezas and Danielle Valenti in Oxford, CT joined the team when the National Lumber Family of Companies added Oxford Lumber and Building Materials to the family earlier this year. There showroom has been completely remodeled and you can get a peek at it on the Kitchen Views website. If you are in the area, please stop in to browse through the new kitchen vignettes and bathroom cabinetry displays.

If you’d like to keep up with the blog via email, you can easily subscribe using the box at the right. Also, if you have any feedback, questions or concerns, be sure to leave a comment!

Minimize the Kitchen Footprint with Single-Wall Design

3D rendering of modern kitchen in a loft.

Kitchens are most commonly laid out in one of three floor plans, L-shaped, U-shaped, and galley. A less popular, but still functional design is the single-wall kitchen. Single-wall kitchens are designed with the elements of the typical work triangle along one wall. Typically seen in apartments or other small homes where maximizing space and efficiency is at the forefront of design, this style of kitchen is gaining popularity in larger homes with open concept floor plans.

Kitchen interior sketches hand drawing front view. Contour vector illustration kitchen furniture and equipment. Cupboard shelves dishes table lamp clock crane dishwasher fridge microwave.

These kitchens work well because they keep all appliances and cooking tools within reach. This design often has the sink set in between the range and the refrigerator, offering easy clean up and usually has counter space on either side of the range.  With the kitchen viewed as a social hub within the home, the small kitchen footprint creates a feeling of openness and flows seamlessly with other rooms.

3d illustration of interior design loft style kitchen and livingroom. The concept of commercial interiors "My room" for gatherings with friends and Leisure. You can watch football and play computer games

A common challenge in single-wall kitchens is the lack of work space with the range, sink, and refrigerator taking up valuable counter space.  A solution to this in apartments or small homes is purchasing a counter height dining table that doubles as work space or a rollaway island.  In larger homes, a permanent kitchen island is a popular addition to provide supplementary storage and work space while maintaining the open floor plan.

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Maximizing storage space is one of the most desirable features in any kitchen. With the compact design of the single wall kitchen, it becomes even more important. Tall upper cabinets, bridge cabinets, and creative use of built in shelving will help to maximize storage. Additionally, the use of an island (both permanent and rollaway) will help to increase the amount of available storage.

an image of Modern Kitchen drawers and Granite Countertop

No kitchen is too small for the talented designers at Kitchen Views. Visit one of the six Kitchen Views showrooms to meet with one of the designers and begin designing the perfect kitchen for your space.

Brandy Souza Promoted to Vice President of Kitchen Views

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Brandy Souza – Vice President of Kitchen Views at National Lumber

Mansfield, MA. Jan 27, 2017 – Continuing the tradition of promoting from within the company, National Lumber is proud to announce the promotion of Brandy Souza to Vice President of Kitchen Views. Souza will continue to report directly to the company President, Manny Pina.

Brandy began her career interning for Paul Brent, a world renowned seaside architect and artist. After her internship, she graduated with a degree in Architectural Design and Construction Technologies and began working with general contractors, designing homes and managing residential projects. She combines her technical expertise with a fine eye for design and a commitment to customer satisfaction.

Brandy has been with Kitchen Views since 2005, starting as a designer in National Lumber’s New Bedford location. In March 2014, she was promoted to General Manager of Kitchen Views. She has consistently shown strong leadership and a determined attitude to improve every situation with tact and graciousness.  Her amazing design acumen has been demonstrated through the beautiful and state-of-the-art Kitchen Views’ showrooms across New England.

Brandy is a member of the NKBA and on the editorial board for Kitchen and Bath Business Magazine. A sought after expert for her design and materials expertise, Brandy has been interviewed and quoted in articles for Boston Home Magazine, New England Home Magazine, Rhode Island Monthly, Design New England, and more. Brandy enjoys sharing her expertise through articles posted on the Kitchen Views blog. With readers and followers from around the world, homeowners are drawn to Kitchen Views at National Lumber for the product knowledge and design insight provided.

National Lumber has been serving the New England area since 1934. Now in its third generation, this family owned and operated company is led by co-CEO siblings Steven Kaitz and Margie Kaitz Seligman, and company president Manny Pina. With divisions that include Kitchen Design, Engineering, Drywall, Installed Insulation, Millwork, and Truss & Wall Panel Manufacturing, National Lumber is qualified to provide building solutions to those in New England and beyond.

Call Manny Pina at 508-339-8020 x5629 or visit national-lumber.com for more information.

Kitchen Views Wins Best of Houzz 2017

Kitchen Views in Warwick, RI has won “Best of Design” on Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. Kitchen Views was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that compromise the Houzz community from more than one million active home building, remodeling, and design industry professionals.

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This Pawtucket, RI kitchen designed by Lisa Zompa has been saved to over 5,000 ideabooks on Houzz

The Best of Houzz award helps homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area featured on Houzz. The Kitchen Views at National portfolio includes some of the most popular images on Houzz 2016. Kitchen Views also maintains an active presence on the platform and answers questions from the millions of worldwide users who may wish to duplicate the popular style seen in the photos.

Private Residence - Pawtucket, RI - Kitchen

Lisa Zompa, designer at Kitchen Views Warwick, has over 12 years of experience in kitchen and bathroom design. Lisa has an interior design degree and joined Kitchen Views in early 2010 to serve the Rhode Island area. Lisa says “to be honored by Houzz for a second time is a great compliment. The Pawtucket kitchen was designed a few years ago so it is really nice to know that my designs appeal to a wide range of people and that this design has stood the test of time.”

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Lisa Zompa in a kitchen she designed for a home in Bristol, RI

Kitchen Views is proud to offer exceptional customer service, talented designers, exquisite showrooms, and quality products. For unlimited options, Kitchen Views offers multiple lines of custom cabinetry, decorative hardware, and stunning countertops.  Whether you want a traditional, contemporary, or “green” design, you will find it at Kitchen Views.

Vice President of Industry Marketing for Houzz, Liza Hausman, says “we’re so pleased to award Best of Houzz 2017 to this incredible group of talented and customer-focused professionals like Kitchen Views. Kitchen Views was singled out for recognition by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts for help to turn their home improvement dreams into reality.”

Click here to visit Kitchen Views’ Houzz profile and see the popular and beautiful work of Lisa and Kitchen Views. Kitchen Views has six unique and stunning showrooms across New England.  Meet with our talented designers to be inspired in the planning and delighted in the results.

Kitchen Design for the Non-Cook

Group of friends eating pizza together at home

Does ordering take-out sound more appealing than cooking a large meal?  Would you rather sit back and relax with a cocktail and lively conversation than worry about your roast burning right before your guests arrive?

There are still plenty of reasons to invest in your kitchen even if you do not cook. Your kitchen doesn’t need to resemble that of a world class chef to remain as the hub of activity, entertaining, and family life.  Keeping your appliances to a minimum allows you for more space to include the things you will actually use, like a wine cooler or an extra-large seating area. For the avid coffee drinker, our last post discussed coffee stations.  Whether you need just a space for your Keurig or a whole countertop for your espresso machine, read that post to get some ideas for your morning fix.

When designing a kitchen to fit your lifestyle, consider which appliances you actually use every day. Do you really need that professional grade range that looks great in the design magazine or do you actually find yourself never using more than one burner at a time?  Cutting down on the size or number of appliances is a great way to save money and space for the things that you really want.  However, be mindful of the resale value of your kitchen and don’t get too carried away when minimizing your appliances.  While you may be able to get by with only a couple of refrigerated drawers, the lack of a proper refrigerator may turn away many potential buyers.

Classic Suite, Secret Ridge

Create a lively gathering place for the adults with a wet bar.  Instead of the newly popular double oven, get a traditional stove/oven combination and use the extra space to install a wine fridge to showcase your impressive collection.   Display your barware behind glass cabinet doors and your carefully crafted cheese plate on the coordinating countertops.  For daily family life, forego a sink or cooktop in the ever popular island.  Instead, focus on making it a casual dining area or homework station with cabinets for supplies.  Expand your home’s nerve-center with a space for the children to study and mom or dad to coordinate the weekend‘s soccer games and play groups.

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Designed by Jamie Thibeault of Kitchen Views, Mansfield

Try using shelving instead of cabinetry.  The openness of the shelving allows you to display your collection of eclectic treasures or creative cocktail recipe books.  Without the enclosure of a standard cabinet, the shelves can add height and light to the space.

If you are looking to adapt your kitchen without a big remodeling project or are concerned about the resale value of a kitchen without traditional upper cabinets, simply take the doors off of your existing cabinets.  This allows you to take a test drive before committing to this innovative method of kitchen storage.  Consider painting the backs of these door-less cabinets a bright color to add a pop of fun.

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Downsize your traditional kitchen table to a small one for two and use the rest of the space for bench seating or a comfortable sofa.  Use the space as an extension of your living room in your open floor plan or as a quiet retreat when the rowdy sports fans have taken over.

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Designed by Kitchen Views, Warwick

If you are looking for more ideas on how to create a kitchen that reflects your lifestyle but still maintains functionality and resale value, talk with any of our talented Kitchen Views designers.  Do you have more thoughts on how to make a kitchen adapt for the non-cook lifestyle?  Share your ideas in the comments.

Convenient Coffee Fix: How to Create the Best Coffee Station

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Convenient Coffee Fix

Does caffeine get you going in the morning? Or keep you going all day and night?  The popularity of coffee isn’t new, but featuring the preparation of this liquid energy has become a focus in many kitchens. Some call it a coffee station. Some call it a necessary convenience for their morning routine. Whether you go all out with an espresso machine or just dedicated cabinet and counter space for your coffee fix, there are plenty of options to consider.

Mug Drawers Keep Your Cups Handy and Safe

One of the must haves in a coffee station is to have coffee mugs handy. The idea of keeping them in a drawer is new, if you have drawer space available. Having a deep drawer with a nonslip liner in the bottom keeps your coffee mugs from getting chipped, something that happens all too often when put in regular cabinets or drawers. It also keeps you from having to keep your mugs on open shelves, which could lead to them falling and getting broken.

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K-Cup Storage Drawers for the Keurig Machine Lovers

Addicted to your Keurig machine, but not sure where the best place to store your K-Cups might be? If you don’t want a rack on the counter, you can have a small drawer under the counter beneath your Keurig, they actually create drawer inserts made specially for your K-Cups.  They even let you organize them by flavor and brand.

If you’re more of a Nespresso person, there are special wood capsule storage units. They can be put in a drawer or even hung on a wall. The arcs built into them allow you to organize the capsules in such a way that the colors can actually create their own kind of art.

Go All the Way and Make it a Breakfast Station

If you have the space, you can just go all out and create a breakfast station. You can have a cabinet that hides away the toaster and other appliances, and perhaps even a small refrigerator for milk, juices, and breakfast items that need a fridge. You could also have storage for small plates and glasses.

Winding Down at the End of the Day

Coffee lovers can also end their day by winding down with decaf. Or perhaps you enjoy tea when you unwind. Don’t forget hot chocolate for those cold winter nights. A dedicated beverage area can be used for multiple purposes throughout the day and night.

These are just a few ideas to consider for a coffee station. Of course, this also applies to tea lovers. Perhaps you can keep a small electric burner in a cabinet along with the teapot or whatever you use to boil water. No need to use the regular stove just for breakfast.

There are plenty of more coffee station ideas on websites such as Houzz. Do you have any creative ideas on how to create the best coffee, tea,  or breakfast station for you? Let us know!

If you need help with creating a coffee or breakfast station, Kitchen Views can provide for all of your cabinetry and countertop needs. Whether you want to add a few cabinets to an unused area to create a coffee station, or incorporate it in a new kitchen, we can help you design whatever you need. Whatever you decide is a must have in your kitchen, you can always ask your kitchen designer for advice in making your daily routines more convenient.

Kitchen Views
www.kitchenviews.com

What Kind of Kitchen Does My Vacation Home Need?

 

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Are you looking to upgrade your kitchen at your vacation home? Over the years, Kitchen Views has helped remodel many kitchens on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. When it comes to having a kitchen that you don’t use for most of the year, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

How often do you plan on using the kitchen? You don’t necessarily need a restaurant-quality kitchen if you’re only spending a couple months a year. If you plan on renting it out when you’re not around, you may want to invest more into it. Since many people on vacation would rather go out to eat or barbecue outdoors, the kitchen just needs to be functional with the bare essentials.

If your vacation home will eventually become your primary residence, however, then you’ll want to have a kitchen similar to that of your current home. The more full-featured your kitchen is, the better it is for your vacation home’s value, as well. When deciding how much to spend, you typically want to budget between 10 to 25 percent of your vacation home’s current value for a kitchen remodel. With a vacation home, you want to try to spend closer to 10 percent, since the kitchen isn’t used all year.

Like when budgeting with any remodel, you want to look at other homes in the neighborhood and what people expect from their kitchens. Knowing the local real estate market is just as important as it is for your regular home. Many vacation homes have smaller kitchens, so it doesn’t make sense to blow your budget on something extravagant unless the market calls for something larger.

One major kitchen design trend you can consider for a vacation home, however, is an open-concept layout. Some older vacation homes have closed-in, cramped kitchens. Knocking down a wall and making the small kitchen part of the main living space may be all you really have to do to make your vacation home kitchen much better. Knocking down that wall can allow you to put in a counter, greatly expanding prep and eating space.

If your vacation home already has a functional kitchen or kitchenette, you may not have to do much as long as it has recently updated appliances and sufficient counter space. Try not to go overboard if you don’t have to. While having the nicest kitchen in the neighborhood is a nice bragging point, it’s not the most important thing. You just want a comfortable, functional kitchen to allow you to eat in whenever you want to, while being as conservative with costs as possible.’

Kitchen Views
www.kitchenviews.com


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