Archive for the 'Designer Blog' Category

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

Advertisements

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.

Welcome to Kitchen Views’ Designer Blog

Kitchen Views is proud to have been selected by Feedspot and ranked as #35 out of the Top 75 Kitchen Design Blogs on the web. Our blog is dedicated to offering you the best advice on kitchen remodeling and additional cabinetry uses from our design experts here at Kitchen Views.

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 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.

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!

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’

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

Storage Solutions That Work for You

kitchen-vignette-top-hinged-upper-cabinets-400.jpg

Storage Solutions That Work for You!

Every year, cabinet companies entice us with new storage ideas:  sliding vegetable bins, spice pullouts, top-hinged wall cabinets, specialty cabinets for bathrooms, base cabinets with compartments or a drawer in the kick space. Open shelving is very popular recently on home renovation shows. All of them are designed to make your cabinets more accessible and convenient for you. 

On top of that, storage container makers offer a myriad of boxes, baskets, bins in all kinds of materials — wood, plastic, natural woven materials, and more. There are so many choices, but often it’s difficult to find storage solutions that work for you in your unique situation. How many of us have spent money on storage items that don’t actually work for us in our daily routine? I know that I have tried a lot of different ways to organize my home, but if you can’t get your family to use them, it’s just a waste of time and money.

pull-out-wood-shelves-in-regular-base-cabinet.jpg

Pull-Out Wood Shelves in Regular Base Cabinet

When deciding on the storage solutions best for you within cabinets, some people are concerned that these handy gadgets actually reduce the amount of storage area in your cabinet. For example, imagine that you can stack a lot of boxes into a cabinet to fill every square inch, but will you actually be able to find what you want when you need it? One of the most popular storage solutions are pull-out shelves that you can fit into your cabinets. One caution: some people try to use these pull-out shelves with short tray sides as though they are drawers. These are meant for larger items that won’t accidentally fall off the side or back when you pull it out. Installing these in a base cabinet may mean that fewer of those imagined boxes will fit within the cabinet, but since you can pull out the shelf to get all the way to the items at the back, they actually work better for you. There are several types of these pull-out shelves; just a couple are shown here. It’s important to weigh the true convenience of finding what you need, against the desire for maximum space for your items.

unusually-shaped-pull-out-shelves-for-corner-base-cabinet-400.jpg

Unusually Shaped Pull-Out Shelves for Corner Base Cabinet

Our design showrooms are designed to feature many great storage ideas. The pictures in this article are of kitchen vignettes at our Mansfield showroom, so if you’re in the area, stop by and investigate them for yourself. As you plan for your new kitchen, think about your most difficult pieces of your kitchen storage puzzle, such as a large mixer for baking. Tell your kitchen designer about items like this, and about how you currently use your storage. Be sure to read our article entitled, Hidden Treasures with 7 Design Gems, in this PDF of one of our past magazines, which shows timeless cabinetry storage solution for that large mixer and much more.   You could take pictures of your current storage shortcomings and bring them to your meeting. As you consider what you need for storage, think about how often you use various items in the course of your everyday food prep. For example, is this something you use daily or just for holidays or special occasions?

What’s one of the biggest storage challenges our designers run into? That’s plastic food storage containers and their tops. Putting them up into a wall cabinet often results in an eventual avalanche.  The solution? A big, wide drawer set aside specifically for them.  No matter how messy it gets, you can still find the matching tops and bottoms. But our designers can also suggest divider elements that you might like to add. If this picture of a drawer with movable posts confuses you, ask one of our designers to show you how it can be used.

specialty-drawer-with-divider-posts-400

Specialty Drawer with Divider Posts

So, come to one of our showrooms [link to showrooms page], bring your awkward items or photos of problem areas that you need a better storage solution to accommodate, and find out how our designers can develop a plan that works for you in your real life, not just in theory.

Kitchen Views at National Lumber
www.kitchenviews.com

Are Kitchen Islands Always the Most Practical Solution?

One of many kitchen islands featured in our Summer 2009 kitchen design magazine.

Island in the Kaitz Kitchen, featured in the Summer 2009 Kitchen Views Magazine article “Things Change”

Are kitchen islands always the most practical solution?  It depends.  Islands are on the wish list of a lot of customers we work with here at Kitchen Views.  The big question we have to ask is “How much room do you have?”  A prep island can be a great addition and even the smallest configuration can be made to increase your kitchen’s functionality.  Added storage and work surface are always a good thing.

Islands can also be a great gathering spot.  A place for the kids to do their homework while dinner is being prepped, or a place for guests to hang out.  It’s even a great place to have a quiet cup of coffee and read the paper.

But, do you have enough room?  Prep islands are typically 27″ deep, though smaller islands can work beautifully.  Basic guidelines suggest that there needs to be about 36″ of space on all four sides for proper work area and traffic flow.  In front of the refrigerator, you should have a little more room, especially for those moments when the only solution to life is standing in front of it with the door open trying to make up your mind.

If you plan to use the island for seating, keep in mind that you need an overhang of about 11″, making these islands typically 36″ deep – plus room to push the stools back – plus 36″ clearance for a walk way.  Plan on 24″ of length for each person for comfortable elbow room.

Try to avoid placing the island in such a way that it cuts through your “work triangle”.  Putting an island in between your sink and your refrigerator, for instance, will probably be more of a hindrance than a help, increasing the number of steps you need to get between work stations.

Two-Tiered Island in kitchen designed by Diane Hersey, featured in the Kitchen Views Magazine article "Sweet and Savory"

Two-Tiered Island in kitchen designed by Diane Hersey, featured in the Kitchen Views Magazine article “Sweet and Savory”

If you plan on having your cooking surface or sink in the island, avoid seating people there or think about two tiers, separating those sitting from the potential danger of the cooking surface or splashing from the sink.  Also, two-tiered islands provide a visual barrier between your guests and the dirty dishes.

There are so many wonderful options for islands.  With a little imagination and the help of one of our great Kitchen Views designers to guide you, the island of your dreams in the kitchen of your dreams can become a reality.
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
www.kitchenviews.com


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,032 other followers

Twitter Updates

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Advertisements

%d bloggers like this: