Archive for the 'cabinetry' Category

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

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!

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’

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’

How to avoid kitchen design problems

Planning kitchen design and imagining finished room

In this day of endless home improvement programs convincing homeowners that they can do it themselves from what they’ve learned on television, it’s important to know that designing a kitchen takes thorough planning. We all enjoy the inspiration of seeing what others have done to improve their homes. But that is not the same as having real life experience in planning and implementing an actual home renovation.

Continue reading ‘How to avoid kitchen design problems’

What We Can Learn From Tiny Homes

tiny-home_090216_09-800x533

Photo via Contemporist

Tiny homes have been growing in popularity lately for a variety of reasons. One of the main reasons has been financial constraints as the cost of living has been rising in many areas. Another primary reason for tiny homes surging popularity is a growing desire to have more freedom to travel. There are many lifestyle changes that go with wanting a tiny home, and it’s not for everyone. But there are ways to incorporate the elegant solutions used in tiny home design into your home.

Tiny Homes Are Based on Thoughtful Design

What makes tiny homes work is that they must make the most use of every square inch. Any truly unnecessary elements are eliminated in their design. It’s boiled down to only essential elements. Of course, as you apply this to your own home, the space will be customized for the individual(s) living in it.

Many tiny homes are as small as 200 square feet. But because you keep only the bare essentials, you can make a lot out of the space. If you have ever been to IKEA, you may have seen the tiny home vignettes. From examples like this, you can see how all of the comforts you need in a home can fit in an extremely small space using quality cabinetry that will better stand the test of time.

Tiny Homes Can Be Elegant

When many people think of the word “elegant,” they think of it as meaning luxurious. But it means so much more. The definition of elegant is “pleasingly graceful and stylish in appearance or manner.” In this way, tiny homes offer elegant solutions that are pleasingly ingenious and simple.

One of the biggest benefits that a tiny house offers is reducing the stress that comes from what many have called the modern “rat race.” Tiny homes are a great way of reconnecting to a cleaner, simpler way of life that has become lost in our consumer culture. No matter how big or small your existing home may be, it’s always possible to streamline things.

Many homes today have become major hubs for entertainment. This is why large rooms are desired in many cases. Even if your rooms are larger, keeping simple design in mind will make the maintenance of that space easier. But in a smaller home that only has a few people living in it, you can make the space seem larger with proper planning for storage of your cherished items. Remember, less is more. Less clutter = more time to relax. Many of us talk about not having enough time to enjoy being with the people we love and/or participating in activities we enjoy. Taking a “tiny home” approach to design can teach you a lot about what is really necessary.

 

tiny-home_090216_12-800x1200

Photo via Contemporist

 

How Can We Learn From Tiny Home Design?

When you’re dealing with a smaller space, you may be asking yourself the question: “Where is all my stuff going to go?” It’s possible that insufficient space for things is a major problem in your own house right now. One thing we can take away from tiny home design is to prioritize needs and minimize wants. Even in a tiny space, though, there can be more than enough storage for what you need. Maximizing function is what it’s all about. If cabinetry can make your home more functional, an experienced designer can be an enormous help in planning and selecting the cabinetry that will work best for you, within your budget.

Small kitchens and bathrooms are a fact that cannot be changed in some homes. To make them work, choose to keep only what you actually need for everyday life. Have just enough cabinets for your cooking essentials and pantry necessities. Only get the size of appliances that you actually need on a day-to-day basis. Just because other people have huge appliances, doesn’t mean it’s right for your needs. It can be easy to want too much out of a single space. By using tiny home designs as a reference for re-designing rooms in your own home, you can save yourself lots of clutter and maintenance work in the long run. If a special event comes along that you cannot accommodate, find another place to have the event. Your everyday living space doesn’t need to be made to accommodate all the “what ifs” in life.

Good design leads to better living. Don’t shortchange yourself in the long run to save a little money now. Invest in your life, by investing in your home.

Visit our website and/or showrooms for inspiration, then make an appointment with a Kitchen Views designer to begin your design journey to a happier life.

Kitchen Views
www.kitchenviews.com

 

Making the Case For A Tiny Kitchen

With the growing popularity of “tiny houses” with their own television shows, many people are thinking about how downsizing can free them for enjoying activities other than cleaning a regular size home. Whether you have a small condo that needs better space planning to make the best use of every inch, or find that your regular size kitchen is in chaos, careful planning can improve your everyday life.

One of our favorite contributors to the Kitchen Views blog recently retired, but her wisdom regarding good kitchen design is timeless. So we are sharing again her perspective on making the most of limited space.

“Making the Case for a Tiny Kitchen” by Pam Kuliesis
Originally published on November 26, 2013

Tiny kitchen 2020 layout by Pam Kuliesis

Tiny kitchen 2020 layout by Pam Kuliesis

After turning a corner in life, I find myself living with a teeny, tiny kitchen. It’s a U-shape space. The working triangle is about 9 feet total, no more than 3 feet between the sink and the range to the left and the sink and the refrigerator to the right and just about 3 feet between the range and refrigerator across from each other. I can stand in the center of the room and reach all three without moving my feet. I pretty much don’t even have to lean. Very tight.

At first I couldn’t imagine being able to create anything in this “Easy Bake” kitchen that would be worth serving. But, a girl’s gotta eat, and take-out gets old pretty quick.

Once I started putting stuff away I was amazed at just how much storage this little kitchen had. And then I started cooking. Everything I needed was within arm’s length. Prep time was so much faster, not having to schlep across the room for the pepper mill that, in my old kitchen, I would leave way over by the sink. Also, I’m much neater. I don’t have the luxury of moving around the kitchen leaving a messy trail behind me. I clean as I go, making the final clean up a breeze!

There are so many great kitchen storage options available from all of the quality cabinetry brands we sell. Stacked wall cabinets maximize every vertical inch. Carefully planned base cabinet configurations and storage accessories make the best use of every nook and cranny.

Kitchen Views designers have the knowledge and the tools to create great kitchens in any space, big and small. Our designers are pros and the views are yours

Kitchen Views at National Lumber
71 Maple St, Mansfield, MA 02048
(508) 339-8020
www.kitchenviews.com


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