Welcome to Kitchen Views’ Designer Blog

Kitchen Views is committed to providing great customer service while protecting our clients and ourselves during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using teleconferencing by computer, our designers can meet with clients virtually and present kitchen designs to review together. If the designer is in one of our showrooms, rather than working from home, they also wear protective masks and gloves. When the time comes to select materials in our showroom, clients come by appointment to one of our thoroughly clean showrooms with proper social distancing.

Kitchen Views designer, Bob Russo, in our Newton showroom wears protective mask and gloves while having a teleconference with a client

Kitchen Views’ Designer Blog is dedicated to offering you the best advice on kitchen remodeling and additional cabinetry uses from our design experts here at Kitchen Views. 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.

Kitchen Views is a kitchen & bath design company with seven unique design showrooms; located at four National Lumber locations in Massachusetts, at National Building Products in Warwick RI, National Building Products in East Hartford CT and at Oxford Lumber in Oxford CT.

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!

Understanding the Design Journey

Nicole Amaral, Kitchen Views Designer

Comfort
The word comfort does not seem to fit what most people think of when planning a remodeling project. But in fact, the Kitchen Views Team will make you feel comfortable with the process, or as we say – help you enjoy the design journey.

Whether a kitchen or bath remodel, or adding built-in storage to your home, the early stages of planning your project can be overwhelming. Time and time again I hear stories from customers about their previous discouraging experiences before arriving at our showroom hoping to find real help.

Starting a remodel is never easy, but it is something that our experienced designers can help you enjoy as we move through the process together. Experience has taught us how to face the inevitable challenges of a remodeling project and find the solutions needed.

Country kitchen sink area in North Attleboro home designed by Nicole Amaral

Style
Designing on trend is easy for a designer since it is within their comfort zone, but it is not necessarily what you want. The designer you are working with should be able to design specifically for you within the style that makes you happy and what will go well with your home, not just what is currently trendy.

Understanding
The importance of having a designer listen to you is paramount – it is the key to a successful outcome. It does not matter how beautiful your kitchen remodel is once it is completed if it does not function in the way that you need. When it comes to weighing your wants and needs in a kitchen, it is important for your designer to understand you as an individual, then dig into your wish list and decipher what is truly important to YOU. How often do you cook? Do you bake? Do you entertain large groups of people? Or do you prefer a small casual dining space? Are there any special physical considerations needed – such as being left-handed, or needing to sit while you work? Are universal design elements important to you or members of your family?

Lots of storage space is available in the island of this country-style kitchen plus more cabinetry around the perimeter of the kitchen designed by Nicole Amaral

Storage
Early in the process, when discussing the layout, you need to talk to your designer about what you need to store in the available space. Are you storing tall pots and pans, do you keep a lot of spices, how many dish sets do you have, and what are you cooking, or baking? These answers tell the designer which appliances, work areas, and supply storage are needed.

Work areas and seating are designed to accommodate traffic flow in this country-style kitchen by Nicole Amaral

Traffic
Another key component to designing a kitchen that functions well is to look at the traffic flow through the space. In other words, who is going to be in your kitchen? Do you have young children, do you have a lot of company over, or do you throw a lot of parties? Answering these questions will help the designer make the layout serve your needs. Appropriate placement of workstations, walkways and seating rely on your needs and expectations .

Chemistry
If you do not feel happy with how your designer is communicating with you, or the ideas they are presenting, speak up. Clear communication is vital to a successful outcome. Do not be afraid to ask for a new designer or go elsewhere. It is better to feel understood and confident with your designer than to struggle through the process feeling misunderstood. Sometimes a fresh set of eyes, new ideas and different opinions will help you move forward confidently with your remodel.

Which brings us back to Comfort
Even though the remodeling process is detail-oriented, and sometimes a challenge as your normal routine is disrupted during construction, it should not be overwhelming. Your designer should always make you feel comfortable with taking the next step. If at any point something is making you feel uncomfortable or unhappy, and you are questioning any part of the process or progress of your project, take a moment to pause and ask questions. Standing in the middle of a space under construction is a new experience for most homeowners. A skilled designer should be able to explain their planned outcome for the design in detail, the reasons for the pace of the work, while also being able to take your constructive criticism and if necessary tweak their design into something that makes you comfortable. The designer’s goal is to exceed your expectations with a beautiful result that you will enjoy for years to come.

Nicole Amaral
Kitchen Views, 90 Norfolk St, Mansfield, MA 02048

Experts at improving living spaces for you to enjoy every day

Schedule a FREE consultation with  one of our talented designers!

Now that most of us are spending more time at home, have you been noticing things you’d like to improve?

Rather than escape into binge watching shows and other such distractions, there are positive things to think about now that you’re not rushing around as usual. Think about a better future, where you don’t take “normal” things for granted, where you enjoy time with loved ones, and “stop to smell the roses” instead of running past them.

Perhaps you’ve been thinking about how you’d like to simplify your surroundings, to be more peaceful. Or, with your family spending more time at home, maybe you realize your kitchen needs help to work better. Maybe you need more storage solutions to keep your countertops clear and easy to clean? Our designers have solutions for beautifully designed, better functioning kitchens, mudrooms, and more.

Helping people improve their lives is at the center of what our designers do every day. Our talented team is eager to help you get the process started by phone, email, and by using many tools that are available online such as Facetime. You could begin by visiting KitchenViews.com. Check out our “Getting Started” section and browse through our designers’ portfolios. Then look through our various social media sites for inspiration.

You’ll discover our designers have the solutions you need with their experienced insight and beautiful products to improve your living space so it works better for your needs.

When it’s time for a face-to-face meeting to select cabinetry and countertop materials, we’re making our showrooms the best place to meet. By scheduling appointments to minimize the number of people in our showrooms at any one time, and having all surfaces are conscientiously cleaned, you can relax and enjoy your time out of the house.

It’s all about you, making your design journey enjoyable, and your home a happy place to spend time.

While looking forward to the end of this public health crisis, we hope that each one of you see and embrace the good things in your lives.

Sincerely,
The Design Team at Kitchen Views

Cabinetry Easy Cleaning Dos and Don’ts

Cabinetry Easy Cleaning Dos & Don'ts

Kitchen Views blog header for designer Mary Jane Robillard

So, you have a brand-new white kitchen and you splatter some pasta sauce on your cabinetry. What now? Do you grab a bleach wipe? Do you spray it down with all-purpose cleaner and wipe it off with a kitchen towel?  Do you let it sit on there until you are done cooking and then spray a water-vinegar solution on the cabinets and then wipe with a sponge?

If you do any of these things, you are going to damage your cabinetry finish immediately and the damage will get worse over time. As a seasoned kitchen designer, I am appalled to find that many homeowners are being sold new cabinetry without being properly educated on the care and maintenance of their purchase. I am here to give you some tips on what to do (and not to do!) with regards to cleaning your cabinetry.

Do use a microfiber cloth

Most spills can be cleaned up with a dry or slightly damp microfiber cloth. What could be easier? These versatile cleaning clothes are available everywhere in many colors. You could have some designated for the cabinetry, another color for other kitchen uses, a different color for the bathroom, and still another color for general dusting around the house.

Regularly dust off your cabinetry with a dry microfiber cloth. Most cabinet grime doesn’t appear overnight but is the result of buildup of dust and food particles over time. Removing this dust and debris before it has a chance to settle into the grooves of your cabinets will help prevent staining and mitigate the need for heavy duty cleaning.

Keep your cabinets dry. Almost 70% of new cabinets sold now have a painted finish. Those doors are made up of wood and medium density fiberboard. If water is allowed to sit on the cabinets for a period of time, it will inevitably penetrate the finish into the wood underneath and cause bubbling, cracking, or peeling of the painted finish. This is particularly important to pay attention to on your sink cabinet and your trash cabinet, as those get the most exposure to water and wet items. When you are done washing dishes, make it a habit to just wipe down the front of your cabinet with a clean microfiber cloth to keep that painted finish looking nice as long as possible.

If a deeper cleaning is needed, use only a clean damp microfiber cloth to wipe the cabinets and then dry them off really well with a second microfiber cloth. Kitchen towels and sponges that you use for many things are not good to clean the cabinets with since they typically have soap residue or cooking grease on them. Beware a sponge with textured material intended for scrubbing because it could remove any protective coating your cabinets have on them.

Don't use furniture polish

Don’t use any type of cleaning agent on your cabinets, such as furniture polish, soap, dishwashing liquid, so called cabinet cleaners, bleach or ammonia-based wipes, all-purpose cleaners, beeswax, or anything that has not been specifically approved by the cabinetry manufacturer. Cleaning agents have chemical compounds that can change the color of your cabinets and make them more prone to blistering or peeling.

Don’t leave a spill to linger. If you spill or splatter tomato sauce, wine, coffee, fruit juice, or condiments wipe it up immediately. Acid-based foods in particular can corrode your cabinet finish quickly!

Don’t neglect to use your range hood. When you are cooking, it is very important to turn on your range hood to remove food, spice, and oil particles from the air, so they do not settle on the surrounding cabinets.

Prevention is the absolute best way to keep your cabinetry clean. It’s easy to clean up any spills or splatters when they happen with a handy supply of microfiber cloths. This good habit also saves you time in the long run as it protects your cabinets from damage.

PRO TIP: Ask your designer to order you an extra touch up kit, so you can apply it to any cabinet scratches or dings that occur with normal use and keep that new kitchen looking beautiful for a long time.

Mary Jane Robillard
Kitchen Views, 3356 Post Road, Warwick, RI 02886

Spice Up Your Kitchen

Omega Cabinetry, Blue Island in Dark Wood Kitchen

Visit a Kitchen Views showroom to see and feel the quality of the cabinetry you’re purchasing, an important aspect missing from an online shopping experience. What looks good in a picture can be disappointing when seen in person. Kitchen Views sells quality brands that will impress you when you experience them in our showrooms. The construction quality of cabinetry differs, and you want your investment in this foundational element to stand the test of time with solid construction.

Continue reading ‘Spice Up Your Kitchen’

Internet Purchasing vs Showroom with Experienced Designer

Kitchen Views blog header for designer Mary Jane Robillard

You can buy anything on the internet. Websites like Amazon bring the entire world to our doorstep, but anyone who shops online knows that what you see is not always what arrives. Receiving an ill-fitting dress in the mail is annoying, but if that dress is your outfit plan for an upcoming event, this inconvenience becomes a crisis.

Young happy couple using a laptop in the kitchen at home

With this example in mind, consider the myriad of issues you might encounter when buying cabinets on the internet. Sure, you can measure your space and try to figure out the items that will hopefully fit, but why would you forego consulting an experienced designer from a reputable company when making a sizable investment in your home?

kitchen plan sketch hand drawn

Continue reading ‘Internet Purchasing vs Showroom with Experienced Designer’

Evaluate Your Current Kitchen – Amy Mood

Amy Mood, Designer at Kitchen Views in Mansfield, MA

You’ve been thinking for quite a while that you’d like to remodel your kitchen. Watching home remodeling shows and searching the internet for information has become your favorite pastime. You’re dreaming of a particular new cabinetry style and new countertops. Whether you select a stained wood or painted cabinet, granite or quartz countertop, there is a bigger picture to be considered first.

Woman imagining new kitchen design

For a successful renovation, it’s essential that you evaluate your current kitchen. Remodeling a kitchen isn’t just about making it pretty. What looks good on television, in a magazine, or online is mostly about the “look” of the materials, and sometimes about the work flow. All of this is intended to inspire you to make changes. But you need to focus on how you use the working areas and storage in your own home. What do you like, or not like about the current amount of counter space, storage space, and traffic flow?

Stop and think about what problem needs a solution. What in your current layout drives you crazy, or makes daily tasks feel like a big chore? What is in the current kitchen that simply gets in your way? Whether it’s small appliances that you only use occasionally or everyday clutter, there can be solutions built into the new cabinetry. Kitchen designers know about all the latest cabinetry features that are available.

Schrock Pantry Storage Cabinets

What items need to be stored for daily use (plates, glasses, plastic containers, pots & pans), seasonal use (picnic basket, cooler and BBQ accessories), or occasional use (small appliances, punch bowl and holiday dishes) etc. Taking this inventory makes you aware of when and how you use these items. You may discover that you can give away items you no longer need.

What can you absolutely not live without? Whether that’s a gas stove or an island, making this list will be vital to the design of the new kitchen. What daily tasks need special features in the new kitchen design — cooking, baking, clean-up, entertaining, homework, bill paying, etc.

Who uses the kitchen — adults, children, handicapped or elderly people? You may have heard of universal design, but thought it was only for people with physical handicaps. Actually, universal design includes features that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy every day.

Do you have pets? On the Kitchen Views website you’ll find a section dedicated to pet-friendly kitchen design. [http://www.kitchenviews.com/pet]

If all of this seems like a lot to think about, remind yourself that paying attention to all of these details now will result in a new kitchen that makes your life easier for years to come. You don’t have to come up with the solution by yourself. Describe the problem to an experienced designer and they will provide you with a solution, or options.

Take “before” photos – you’ll be amazed when you look back at them later.

Amy Mood, AKBD
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
71 Maple Street, Mansfield, MA 02048
Phone: 508-339-8020
amood@kitchenviews.com
www.kitchenviews.com

Kitchen islands encourage sharing and teaching

Children helping mother make school lunches at kitchen island

As children go back to school, every parent knows it’s time to make school lunches and do homework again. Large kitchen islands have become a favorite gathering place for families to enjoy time together while doing these daily tasks.

Involving children in meal preparation gives them important time together as a family, which not only teaches them about good nutrition, but provides them with emotional connections to each other. In our highly technological society, family time is more valuable than ever.

Young family together at kitchen island, close up

Sharing time together while doing homework is more emotionally rewarding than just learning their school lessons. Especially for young children, being sent to another room to do homework can feel like punishment. Interacting with parents while establishing good study habits can help them develop a lifelong love of learning. As children get older, they may require more solitude while studying, but they’ll be more productive because they learned these early lessons as a family.

Girl at kitchen island with young women, preparing meal in the kitchen

Kitchen islands with seating for casual meals are not just convenient. While it may make meals easier to prepare, eat and cleanup all in one place, this family gathering place is about building happy memories together.

Man teaching boy food prep at kitchen island

Building confidence is an important aspect of life skill lessons and leads to healthy independence. When children are old enough to handle a knife safely, cooking lessons get more technical. As with most learning, hands-on experience is the best way to learn.

It’s important to consider how you want your family to interact daily when planning a kitchen remodel. As a major family gathering space, the importance of a kitchen should not be underestimated. The best kitchen design is much more than the style and color of cabinetry and whether to include an island. An experienced kitchen designer will listen and learn about what works for your family. That allows them to design a living space that works well for you. Your designer will expertly handle the storage issues, appliance placement, and space layout so that you’ll simply enjoy using your kitchen for years to come.

When you’re ready to get started with the planning stage of a kitchen design, or remodel, start your research in the “Getting Started” section of our website. Then contact a Kitchen Views showroom near you to get the personalized attention you deserve.

Our designers work hard to exceed your expectations.

Contact Kitchen Views at 508-DESIGNS [337-4467] or visit our website for more information.

Imagine … an outdoor kitchen for true outdoor living

Family eating meal outside in garden

While the current heat wave in New England has everyone either running into the air conditioning, or jumping in a pool, this extreme heat is not the norm for our area. Outdoor spring and summer days in New England are long awaited and usually beautiful.

If you enjoy entertaining in your backyard, you may already have a deck with a casual dining area and a grill to cook traditional summer meals like hamburgers and hot dogs.

As you’ve been enjoying your backyard this summer, have you been wishing you had a real outdoor kitchen for al fresco family meals and summer parties? Kitchen Views now sells Wolf Endurance cabinetry, specifically made for outdoor kitchens.

Continue reading ‘Imagine … an outdoor kitchen for true outdoor living’

Modern Updates with Brass Hardware – Amy Mood

ocean-jasper

Silestone

When it comes to kitchen cabinets, white and gray continue to reign supreme. However, hardware and accessories are starting to see a shift towards warm metal tones such as brass or gold. We may have thought this trend was left behind in the 80s but the styles that we are seeing now are far different from your grandmother’s brass. In current styles with clean edges and modern shapes, these warm tones are bringing timeless style to modern design.

Continue reading ‘Modern Updates with Brass Hardware – Amy Mood’


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