Archive for the 'kitchen design' Category



In-Law Apartment Kitchens: Small But Functional

This kitchen designed by Lee Turner for The Wiese Company won an EM-NARI CotY award for "Best Kitchen Remodel."

This kitchen designed by Lee Turner for The Wiese Company won an EM-NARI CotY award for “Best Kitchen Remodel.” Photo © Kitchen Views

With multiple generations occupying many homes today, in-law apartments have become popular additions. They are often small, but functional. If it’s not quite functional, however, you may be looking to remodel the space to make it more so. You may be wondering what you should budget for such a remodel and what should go into it.

It’s possible you may have bought a home that already had an in-law suite. But the kitchen may be outdated when compared to the rest of the house. This is actually not all that uncommon. To be fair, in-law apartments should be as close to the style of the rest of the house as possible, especially if it is its own separate living space. But sometimes, the other kitchen becomes where all of the old appliances and many of the other useful items from the previously remodeled kitchen end up. If they are still reasonably functional, you may just need to give the space a facelift.

The major trend today with in-law apartments is to make them handicap accessible and use universal design elements. Especially with aging in-laws, you want to make sure that the kitchen is usable by everyone. Some in-law kitchens may be more like kitchenettes stacked up against one wall, with perhaps some counter space. Depending on the size of the space, this may be enough, especially if it’s easily accessible. You don’t want to put a huge island in an in-law suite kitchen. You want to maximize the available square footage and not make the kitchen take up too large of a percentage.

The other thing to keep in mind is if the in-law apartment will be used on a regular basis or only for part of the year. In-law apartments, especially when separate from the rest of the living space, can also serve later as rental space. So you want to have the best kitchen possible for the small space. Not only is an upgraded, but budget-conscious, kitchen good for your home’s value, but it makes for a pleasant experience for your guests, and potential renters, as well.

Kitchen Views
www.kitchenviews.com

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Improving Your Kitchen’s Design for a Great ROI (Return on Investment)

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© Kitchen Views | Kitchen designed by Ed Nunes, Chestnut Hill, MA

by Steve Constable, Chicago Home Remodeling

When it comes to home renovations the best return on investment of any part of the home is found in the kitchen. Improving your kitchen can return 75% to 100% or more of your initial investment. But before you dig into your toolbox or head to the home improvement store it is helpful to know what design choices offer the best value for your investment. Implementing the right elements is often the difference between getting the price you want when you hit the market and having to slowly lower your asking price.

A common mistake people make when looking to revise their kitchen is focusing too much on the money spent. Having a budget is very important, but you want your money to be spent productively. Installing expensive Lazy Susans or wine racks are not smart monetary moves if your cabinets are falling apart. The first step is to evaluate the status of your space. Focus on aspects that draw the most attention: counters, cabinets, appliances and wall color.

Counters and cabinets take up the most space in your kitchen (typically 60% to 70%) and get the most use. Reach for a plate or glass, chop food or rest a dish—it’s critical your counters and cabinets are up-to-date in form and function. Homeowners typically view appliances for function first, but a strong aesthetic appeal will help your space stand out to buyers. Kitchens are the first thing realtors show prospective buyers. This is your first impression.

Are your cabinets in dire need of an update? Before you grab your sledgehammer, consider refacing the cabinets. With this the existing frame or skeleton and layout stays intact. Everything else (75% of what people see) is replaced. Adding new doors, drawers, and hardware will only run you between $2,000 and $6,000. A full tear down can cost double or even triple that amount. Of course, a new fresh coat of paint and new cabinet jewelry might be all you need to breathe new life into your cabinets. Creativity is key when you are remodeling on a tight budget. A popular, cost efficient, option is wood refinishing. You cabinets stay the same, but the urethane and stain or paint is stripped away and sanded clean. Then new layers are added. You can expect to pay between $3.30 and $3.70 per square foot on a wood refinishing job, and it’s a project for even the most novice DIYer!

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© Kitchen Views | Kitchen designed by Ed Nunes, Chestnut Hill, MA

A project you might want to leave to the experts is replacing your countertop. And you’ll be glad you left this to the pros because a new countertop offers 70% ROI or more. But it needs to be granite. People love granite for its durability and aesthetic look. Not only can you slice food right on its surface (if you do not mind scratching the polish), but you can also choose from a plethora of colors and patterns when picking it out. Be sure to have your kitchen colors locked down before picking your countertop color. You can pick a darker granite color and let it pair with lightly colored walls to be a focal point of contrast. Light colors like whites and yellows are quite in vogue these days. They are inviting, reflect plenty of natural light, and make spaces look bigger. The same cannot be said of dark or “strong” colors like deep blue or green. Use these colors as accents, but make sure they match your countertop.

Don’t worry about matching your walls with your appliances. When buying new appliances, there is one aesthetic that reigns supreme: stainless steel. Nothing is sleeker or cleaner than this metal sheathing, making it the most desirable material among homeowners. Buyers too! People want to know you home is up-to-date. Stainless steel embodies contemporary aesthetic and reliability.

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© Kitchen Views | Kitchen designed by Ed Nunes, Chestnut Hill, MA

Real estate experts agree that a kitchen remodel should cost between 5% to 10% of your home’s estimated resale value. In an average US city like Chicago this is anywhere from $12,000 to $24,000 as homes in 2016 are now selling for an average of $240,000. By applying this formula to your kitchen remodeling budget and also incorporating the right design elements into your kitchen remodel you can ensure that your house sells above the fair market value of other homes in the area.

About the Author: Steve Constable is a design and build specialist who lives in Chicago, IL. You can learn more about his company Chicago Kitchen Remodeling Inc. by visiting: http://kitchenremodelingchicago.com

Kitchen Design Doesn’t Have to Be Black and White

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The striking blue wall color in this photo adds vibrancy to this kitchen with traditional white cabinetry and black countertops. Remodeling your kitchen is one of the best times to put a splash of color into your home. Painting the wall another color is a fairly easy, inexpensive way to change the ambience of your home.

White kitchen cabinets have been extremely popular for many years. On the flip side, black cabinets, when paired with lighter countertops and other colors as accents, are also growing in popularity. But, of course, kitchen design doesn’t have to be black and white. There are so many color options available. The trick is to not overpower the space with too much color coming from foundational elements. But since black goes with everything, you may actually find that you have a different range of color choices that you may not have considered with white, neutral cream or gray cabinetry or countertop.

Usually, monochrome kitchens focus their color palettes on white, grays, and black, then include accents of color in their backsplashes, countertops, flooring, and accessories. By having a contrasting color for cabinets in the island, for example, you can add depth to the visual design of your kitchen. If your kitchen is too white, it can look washed out and some of the details of the cabinetry can be overlooked. But if you select an unusual custom color cabinetry and end up not being happy with it later, that will be expensive to change. However, if you splurge with paint to accent your cabinetry, you can always repaint it later.

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North Kingstown, RI Kitchen Designed by Lisa Zompa. Image © Kitchen Views

Darkly stained wood cabinets are another popular option when you don’t want your kitchen to look whitewashed. Keep in mind that the overall visual effect will be dramatically different depending on your choice of countertops and/or backsplashes.

Here are two examples of how different it looks when you choose either dark or light countertops with dark cabinets.

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Black hutch designed by Lisa Zompa. Image © Kitchen Views

 

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Media Kitchen designed by Lisa Zompa. Image © Kitchen Views

If you really want to make a strong statement, black countertops and/or backsplashes are a great complement to lighter colored cabinets. Black is bold, especially when set against plain white, off-whites, silvers, or grays.

 

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New kitchen designed by Amy Mood. Image © Kitchen Views

Whatever you decide to do, there are a range of color palette options available. You want to keep in mind the style of your home and the neighborhood you are in. While having a stunning kitchen is cool, if it doesn’t fit the rest of your home, that will hurt your home’s potential resale value. However, if you don’t care about reselling your home, you can go wild with it. Consult your friendly local kitchen designer to discuss the colors you have in mind.

Kitchen Views
www.kitchenviews.com

What We Can Learn From Tiny Homes

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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.

 

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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

 

Seemingly Endless Options for Customizing Your Kitchen

There’s always a lot of talk about trying to stay neutral and go with the timeless trends when remodeling your kitchen. Mainly this is done with the idea in mind that you will be selling your home in the future. However, if you’re planning to stay in your home long term and you have the budget for it, nothing should stop you from building your dream kitchen just the way you want it.

With the seemingly endless design options available today, you can go all out in your customization of every aspect of your kitchen. It all starts with the cabinetry and the countertops, the two most important parts of your kitchen. If you plan to stay put for the long-term, using custom cabinets can help you create just the space you desire. If it’s not in the budget for you, though, there are plenty of semi-custom options. Dynasty by Omega has many styles and options that you can mix and match with custom units for just the configuration and design style you want.

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Imagine the slick, clean contrast of a contemporary penthouse apartment to the looming metropolis, crowded streets, and noise below. This city dweller’s dream kitchen was designed with custom cabinetry in an exotic wood called figured anigre, with skillful use of aluminum and glass.

The use of exotics is completely driven by the European contemporary look and style. This style is characterized by flat paneled doors with striking wood grains. The exotic wood panels are finished with a high gloss, and simple hardware elegantly completes the look. This clean, contemporary style with unique wood is sought by high-end clients desiring one-of-a-kind living spaces.

There are many ways to customize your kitchen such as your choice and style of flooring and appliances. Here you can see the bold checker pattern of the tile flooring. Also, the custom stove hood piece that becomes the focal point of the kitchen. Add sleek custom cabinetry with frosted glass display cabinets and you have a high-end kitchen as sophisticated as you are.

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If you like the look of stainless steel, consider cabinets with stainless steel doors to match the appliances.

Miami Beach’s Ocean Drive inspired the contemporary vitality of this vignette. Stepping into this vignette you begin to feel the fun at your feet with cooling water-blue “pool” tiles.

Sunlight shines through the custom arched windows from Andersen to add sparkle to this kitchen’s “Blue Star” quartz countertops, softly polished stainless steel contemporary cabinetry, “Miami Beach” Art Deco era inspired “Cobalt Blue” mirror backsplashes, and glass accents. We can recreate this kitchen for your home or summer residence.

Of course, you don’t need to go all-out to these extremes. These are just a couple of the options to consider when designing your dream kitchen.

True Stories: The Molnar’s Kitchen Renovation Story

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The Molnar’s New Kitchen. Image © Kitchen Views

John & Ingrid Molnar couldn’t help but marvel at the end result of their brand new chef-friendly kitchen. But it was quite a process to get to this point. It took nearly two years of online research and interviewing various designers before the Molnars found their perfect designer at the Kitchen Views showroom in Berlin, MA.

What made the Molnars choose Kitchen Views? John says it was all about their designer’s ability to listen. Others they had met with were always trying to sell them a package. Their Kitchen Views designer helped them to find a solution for their requirements. That solution was to open up their small kitchen into the living room and take over the space of the former dining room. This created a new open space and a much larger kitchen.

Ingrid was especially inspired by the Berlin, MA showroom and one of the countertops there. The multi-level countertop on the center island in the final kitchen was inspired by one of those countertops. Also the top used in the island cooking area is intentionally different than that on the perimeter, to make those areas clearly and visually separate.

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John Molnar kidding around in the old kitchen with a family friend. Image © Kitchen Views

In the old kitchen, people were always bumping into one another. The new center island allows a place for people to congregate even while John and Ingrid are cooking. Another useful feature in the new kitchen was having two sinks, one for washing and one for prep. In the old kitchen, the sink had to serve both of these purposes. Having two separate sinks means John and Ingrid are not in each other’s way.

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Close-up of the prep sink. Image © Kitchen Views

In the old kitchen, you couldn’t even open the refrigerator door at the same time as the oven! The new kitchen greatly improved the space’s workflow. As Ingrid says, it’s important to keep lines of communication open when they’re both cooking at the same time. The old kitchen made that very difficult. The new kitchen has great sight lines and even allows the kids to sit at the lower level doing their homework or hanging out while their parents cook.

With the new layout, there was one challenge that had to do with the placement of the new stove. The oven was made into a built-in to improve the work flow. But the gas lines wouldn’t work where they wanted the new cooktop in the center island. Fortunately, the solution became another one of John’s favorite parts of the new kitchen. Rather than moving to propane, they decided that an electric induction cooktop was the solution. It boils water in 90 seconds, John says. It’s a lot more efficient than his old stove.

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Beyond the improved workflow, the center island also allows for plenty of storage, for cooking implements and spices alike. No more having to run around the kitchen gathering supplies. Everything needed is easily at hand.

The Molnar’s story is a perfect example of having a designer who is happy to listen to you and work out a plan to create solutions for your own specific needs. Don’t settle for a standard package deal. Find a designer who can make your kitchen renovation story into a dream come true.

Here’s a video of John and Ingrid Molnar talking to Kitchen Views about their kitchen:

Kitchen Views
www.kitchenviews.com

 

How to Begin the Kitchen Remodeling Process

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That long overdue decision has been made, and you are finally going to remodel the kitchen! The anticipation is exciting, not to mention overwhelming. But already the anxiety begins as the questions begin to pop.

Where do we begin?

There are many questions to ask as you begin the kitchen remodeling process. Where do we go for help? The best place to start is an experienced kitchen designer. So what does the designer do, and will their services cost anything extra? It depends on where the designer works – whether he or she works for a showroom or independently. Ideally, you want your designer to have design expertise that includes interior design, as well as kitchen design. This is so you can have someone who can advise you with the other design elements of the kitchen (i.e. flooring, backsplash options, wall color, etc.)

Where to start?

When do we start, and how do we start? Will my kitchen designer help me to coordinate all that needs to be done with the kitchen remodel? Start by shopping for a good, knowledgeable, talented, and patient designer! Yes, the design process can be lengthy and tedious, and the installation time will be longer than you had anticipated, and certain things will go wrong. You’ve likely heard some horror stories, and they are scary, to be sure. Get connected with a good designer who can help keep the issues to a minimum and under control.

What about countertops?

Who does countertops? Can I get those through my kitchen showroom? Typically, design showrooms have go to distributors for countertops. They know the best people in the business, so the job will be done well.  Will my designer be able to help with that? Countertops are typically a major component of a kitchen remodel, so your designer should be well-versed in them. They can help you to understand the differences between various countertops, such quartz and granite. Here’s a helpful guide on our blog about selecting countertop materials.

How do you find a good designer?

Where do you find a good designer? Research kitchen websites and information networks (i.e. blogs, etc.) plus check out their reputation online.  Then, go into a kitchen showroom in your area and speak with a designer. Remember, there are a lot of talented designers out there. But you want to find someone whom you will actually want to let into your life for awhile. Of course, if you are in the New England region, we hope you will check out Kitchen Views. In addition to talented designers, we have the backing of parent company National Lumber, a family owned and operated building materials business with over 80 years’ experience.

The most important part of finding a designer is someone who listens to your ideas and understands your own wants and needs. When it comes to any kind of remodeling, you want a designer who is not only professional, but is a helpful friend to guide you through the various questions and challenges you may have.

Once you find the right designer, let your new design friend help you through the process. Follow his or her lead and things will fall into place as they should. Then finally watch as the new kitchen evolves from a drawing or computer generated rendering to the beautiful kitchen your designer promised you!

Kitchen Views designers are chosen for their expertise in project management as well as having design talent. As part of National Lumber, a family owned and operated company that has been serving builders and homeowners since 1934, Kitchen Views provides you with a dependable resource for all your remodeling needs, building materials, and services.

Please call 1-508-DESIGNS [337-4467] to find a showroom and designer in your area.

Kitchen Views
www.kitchenviews.com


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