Archive for the 'kitchens' Category



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

 

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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

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

Defining Areas Within Your Kitchen – Lisa Zompa

Lisa Zompa, Kitchen Designer Blog

Defining spaces in your kitchen creates an organized and easy place to live and entertain by creating zones in your kitchen for specific functions.  Some examples are Prep, Clean Up, Entertaining, and Drop Zone.

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Prep Zone can include a place that has a trash, cutting boards, bowls, and knives in  the same area so you can prepare dinner in one spot without having to move around the entire kitchen.

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Clean Up will have your trash, sink, dishwasher, Tupperware, and foils and wraps in the same area so you can clean up after dinner and quickly put away the left overs.

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Entertaining is where your guests can sit/stand, and a place to keep your beverages that is out of the way of your prep and cooking area.  This allows you to be with your guests while cooking, and easily get drinks without having to go into the cooking area.

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Drop Zone is where your family members come in and has a place for phones, keys, mail, book bags, and laptops.  This keeps tables and counters clean of clutter.

By having defined spaces in your kitchen, you won’t end up with the overlap that can happen in a kitchen without these zones. While overlap between zones can still happen, having better organization will prevent some of the problems you may have had previously. Your kitchen designer will find solutions to help you plan out all of the different zones you’ll need in your space.

See more of the Bristol, RI kitchen featured above in Lisa Zompa’s Kitchen Views portfolio.

Lisa Zompa
Kitchen Views at National
3356 Post Rd, Warwick, RI 02886
Phone: 401-921-0400
Email: lzompa@kitchenviews.com
Web: 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.

kvc_ocean_drive

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.

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

An Open Kitchen Floor Plan Increases Function and Inspires Creative Cooking

Fluted columns, multi-level work areas and mixed materials add to the charm of this versatile kitchen

Re-configuring an undersized floor plan into an open floor plan requires being open to new ideas. Sometimes,  removing a preexisting support wall allows us to expand and combine living spaces. This improves visual sight lines and traffic flow. The new configuration also allows for more countertop work areas and storage space. With the added square footage, you can also add a great deal of fashion to the new space.

In this particular example, fluted cherry wrapped columns conceal the required supporting post. The columns also add additional layers of visual interest to the multi layered work stations in this island. Soapstone along with wood top counters adds a casual inviting atmosphere fusing old world charm with rich detailing and warmth of Brazilian stained cherry wood.

K VChef's kitchen (2)

Here, we also combined materials in the cabinet selections, mixing painted maple in a vintage oyster married with a coffee glaze, which adds additional texture. Once you meld the warmth of cherry wood to the oyster ample, it evokes a versatile timeless appeal.

Custom cabinet lines allows for rich detailing. Using faithfully recreated traditional details can provide instant ambiance and layers of interest. In the example above, the door styles we selected were a traditional classic raised panel beaded inset with 5 piece drawer fronts. For the display cabinets, we chose Prairie-style doors with seeded glass accents and open book-ends. The clipped fluted corners on all cabinet ends amplify the attraction of detailing in this kitchen.

K Vchef 7 (2)

An open floor plan also allows details in the cooking area to be enjoyed by everyone. Here you can see an example in which cooktop ventilation is hidden beneath beaded detailing of the wood hood, mirrored below in the beaded back splash. Architectural decorative legs anchor the cooktop below. A streamlined stainless steel farmer’s sink fuses ideas of yesterday with the materials and clean lines of today. In a space like this, any chef can feel inspired.

Open kitchen layouts allow you to have a space you can organize your life around, with just the right blend of personality and functionality. We can call that “room for living.” One moment, you can be preparing pasta. The next, you’re uncorking a bottle of Cabernet at the seating area. There you can be pouring it with close friends and family without ever actually leaving the kitchen. An open layout adds a social element that traditional closed-in kitchens simply don’t offer.

Function is the new fashion in this open kitchen design

For a chef that loves to cook and entertain, a closed-in space can leave one uninspired. It also leaves out of the social indulgence that an open floor plan offers. The newly designed reconfiguration and combining of two rooms now allows for full family participation. Function is the new fashion.

Kitchen Views
http://www.kitchenviews.com


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