Archive for the 'Kitchen Remodeling Advice' Category

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.

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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.

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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)

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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

Gravitating Toward Nurturing

family of mother and children in kitchen cooking laughing and smiling and doing paperwork or school work at counter image

Ever wonder why everyone gravitates to the kitchen? This kitchen was featured in Kitchen Views magazine. Read the article here (PDF).

It happens to everyone at one time or another. It may not happen right away, and it is usually so subtle we don’t even realize what the “it” is that we are referring to. The “it” is that subconscious gravitational pull leading you to one distinct room in any home. This room is where food resides waiting to be prepared. It’s where the chef of the house spends beloved time and energy cooking for those who will come to eat. This is a place where you may share a cup of something warm with a good friend. “It” is not found in the living room, or even the dining room. “It” is found in the kitchen, the place where people are nurtured physically and emotionally.

You’ve heard a million times: the kitchen is the heart of the home. Have you ever put much thought into why that is? With all the other rooms in a home, why is the kitchen the room where we all seem to gravitate more than any other? Aside from the obvious preparation of food, the kitchen often acts as the central command station. It’s a communication center, a cafeteria, a lounge, and sometimes even a resting place. Your kitchen is that special place where everyone in your family can feel included in the happenings of the home, even when you’re not all together.

Schrock Wall Message Center Cabinet

Schrock Wall Message Center Cabinet. Image (c) Schrock Cabinetry, Fair Use.

There are several things you can do to make the heart of your home even better. With many families rushing about with days full of school, sports activities, work and socializing, one great thing to have in a kitchen is a Wall Message Center to foster better communication. Several cabinetry companies offer them, including Schrock. With this handy specialty cabinet, everyone is able to stay in the know about the happenings of the week. Whether it’s leaving activity calendars, To Do lists, grocery lists, or love notes, everyone will know where to look to find out what’s new in the family, or where to find people based on their planned schedules.

If you like to entertain, having a countertop overhang on an island or peninsula allows for more seating and a place for guests to share in good conversation more comfortably, while the chef prepares the food. Another option for seating is a comfortable window seat for someone to be included, but not in the middle of bustling activity. Not only is it great for entertaining, it’s also a very nice feature for the chef to relax, just for a moment, while he or she is cooking that special meal. It’s also great for a child to sit and still be near the action and excitement going on in that kitchen.

One customer told us once, “I’ve noticed that, even though I have a great living room, and a brand new family room, everyone congregates in my kitchen. They don’t want to leave.

Our talented designers at Kitchen Views are here to help you create your dream kitchen to nurture your loved ones. Whether you have small children, teenagers, grand-kids, or grandparents living with you, the kitchen will always become the heart of your home.

Kitchen Views at National Lumber
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

 

Tame the Renovation

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If you’re planning on a major kitchen remodel or are in the process of doing one, you may well be feeling like you are handling a wild beast. Fortunately, there are ways to prepare and handle the remodeling process while keeping your cool. Here are many easy things you can plan and do to regain control of the situation.

  • Once the cabinets are ordered, you could start packing away the seldom used items such as those used for holidays or special occasions. This is also a good time to think about whether or not you still use an item. Charities take many household goods such as dishes, glasses, pots & pans, etc. Give away your no longer needed items that will be of help to someone else.
  • Once your cabinets have arrived and the installation is scheduled, clean out everything else from your old cabinets a few days before the tear out. The last thing you want is to have your space still occupied the day before or worse yet the morning of the demolition.
  • As you’re moving everything out of your kitchen, you want to pretend that you’re moving. When you box things up, label any boxes or containers meticulously. Later, it will help unpacking go more quickly. While boxing things up, set aside anything you may need that you can still use during the course of the remodel, such as the coffee maker or can opener.
  • While cleaning out your kitchen, be sure to get rid of anything simply collecting dust. You’ll want to donate any small appliances that you never use and only take up space. If you have older dishes that you’d rather replace, donate those, as well. It’s also a good time to throw out any old plastic containers that are worn out and any that no longer have covers for them. They are pretty cheap and easy to replace.
  • Without a dishwasher or kitchen sink, many people use paper goods during a remodel. But this can lead to a lot of extra costs and a lot more trash than you’ll want to deal with. Consider washing dishes in your bathroom sink or use a dish basin in the tub. You could even wash outside like campers do, fill a basin with water and dish soap and use a garden hose for the rinsing.
  • If you have a free standing microwave, find a place for the microwave to hang out. This will be the primary element of your temporary kitchen. Many microwave foods cost only a dollar or two apiece and many healthier options are now popping up in stores.
  • Make sure your collection of take-out menus is up to date and close at hand. While you don’t want to depend on them every night, having Chinese or pizza occasionally will make life easier. Just try to only have delivery one or two nights a week at the most.
  • Stock a cooler with ice for the perishables. If you have space in another room, you can even move the fridge there. You may get so used to its new location that you might find yourself going out there even after the remodel is over. You can also do both, since you’ll probably need to stock up on more frozen foods and easy-to-prepare foods than you would ordinarily.
  • In good weather seasons, you may plan to move your cooking outdoors to the grill. Make sure you have enough propane in your tanks or enough charcoal on-hand for the duration. A backyard BBQ is going to be cheaper and better for you than constantly getting take-out and fast food every day. Fast food is not only unhealthy on a long-term basis, but it adds up in costs quickly. Restaurant take-out food may be better for you, but it is even more costly.
  • If you’re not into grilling, or it’s not the right season, check your local supermarket fliers for prepared foods that you can purchase daily. These will help you prepare healthy meals with only a microwave, and sometimes you don’t even have to heat them up. Like BBQ foods, they often cost much less than a trip to the restaurant or fast food joint.
  • During the installation of cabinets and countertops, keep your designer’s phone number on speed dial. Also, try to stay available to the installer. There could well be unforeseen issues along the way that will need to be dealt with. These decisions will need to be made quickly, so be sure to be available. The last thing you want are costly delays or decisions made without you being fully aware of the situation.

Following these tips will make things much easier on your peace of mind during a remodel. Not only that, your family will eat healthier and you’ll find you get more bang for your food dollar buck. You’ll also know exactly what which items you’ll actually be moving back into your kitchen, and know what really needs replacing. Not only will you have a new and improved kitchen, you’ll find that you’ll be able to enjoy the space even better.

Of course, working with an experienced kitchen designer will also be a huge benefit in innumerous ways. We like to say that Kitchen Views designers help you to enjoy the design journey. Contact us today to discuss your remodeling plans.

Kitchen Views at National Lumber
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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