Archive for the 'Remodeling' Category

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’

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

How to Use Pinterest in Researching Your Next Remodeling Project

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Today’s consumers use the vast information available on the Internet to browse and research every sort of product or project imaginable. When it comes to redesigning the home, one place that homeowners can go to research and gather ideas is Pinterest. This unique photo sharing social network allows you to easily organize a wide variety of design elements. You can sort the pictures of elements you are drawn to, that make you happy, or comfortable, or energized. Whatever goal you have for your home improvement project, Pinterest is a great place to start.

Kitchen Views has been on Pinterest for quite some time. Not only do we share some of our own designers’ projects, but also those from some of our favorite cabinetry and countertop manufacturers. We also share interesting design ideas as we find them.  Our Pinterest boards are broken down into bathrooms, kitchens, and general home design.

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With Pinterest, you can also browse complementary elements such as appliances, backsplashes, flooring, lighting and more. By having separate boards for these you can easily organize ideas and products that you like. Also, Pinterest is very good at suggesting pins relevant to your interests. It also bases suggestions on what you’ve already searched, favorited, and pinned.

As a research tool, Pinterest can be invaluable as both a discovery and organization tool. It even allows you to upload your own pictures to share. You can use it to complement hardcopy idea books, or you can use it exclusively. Many in the design business use it already and will be happy to see what you have to start from when it comes to your ideas. As a visual aid, nothing really beats Pinterest.

It’s free to sign up and easy to use on both the computer and mobile devices. Be sure to follow Kitchen Views on Pinterest here: https://www.pinterest.com/kitchenviews/

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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