Archive for the 'Kitchen Remodeling Advice' 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

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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.

Entertainment Abounds in Redesigned Home

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Designed by Lisa Zompa of Kitchen Views.

When the homeowners purchased their new Canton home, they knew they needed to make it their own. With a dated kitchen layout and a floor plan that simply did not work for their family, the owners contacted Lisa Zompa of Kitchen Views to help transform their new home to fit their needs. Together with National Millwork, Lisa and the homeowners added cabinets and other storage to multiple rooms along with renovating all of the bathrooms and the kitchen.  The final result – a stunning modern, yet classic, design that is perfect for this active family.

Continue reading ‘Entertainment Abounds in Redesigned Home’

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’

Aging In Place Modifications: Practical & Stylish

Portrait of happy senior woman cutting vegetables in kitchen

A 2015 Houzz report showed that over 50% of homeowners age 60+ are planning to age in place. As the baby boomer generation begins to enter the golden years, home construction and renovation contractors are seeing an increase in accessibility modifications being made. With more spending power than the younger millennial generation, the boomers are also a large player in the interior design industry; frequently updating their home to incorporate the latest design trends. Combining the need for accessibility with the desire to keep the attractive appearance of the home, these modifications are not only practical but stylish as well.  Read below for some simple yet important modifications to make to your home accessible for any generation.

Continue reading ‘Aging In Place Modifications: Practical & Stylish’

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.

kitchen-views-thibeault-mountain-dog-building-wrentham-kitchen-island-600-002

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.

kitchens

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.

kitchen-views-buttonwoods-casual-dining-area-with-bench-600-003

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.

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

kitchen-views-nunes-lyman-wide

© 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.

kitchen-views-nunes-lyman-view2

© 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


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