Archive for the 'Remodeling' Category



Tame the Renovation

remodeling-contractor-meeting-with-homeowner-in-kitchen

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

How to Use Pinterest in Researching Your Next Remodeling Project

pinterest-kitchen-views-kitchens-before-and-after

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.

pinterest-kitchen-views-bathroom-designs

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

Technology to Transform Our Lives at KBIS 2015

Brandy Souza of Kitchen Views

The KBIS show of 2015 was filled with plenty of brands we know and love. All our favorite brands have clearly embraced new technology and used it to make our lives easier. The one take away from this year’s Kitchen and Bath show was that technology is king. Here are my notes from the KBIS 2015 show that demonstrate how technology, design and function come together to better our lives.

Kohler’s Touchless Flush Toilets — just when you thought a heated seat was the best invention added to toilets, now we don’t even have to touch our toilets to flush them!

Kohler Touchless Flush Toilet

Kohler Touchless Flush Toilet

Tech Top by LG — this was really cool. Just place your cell phone, exercise tracker, glucose meter, heart rate meter, or portable speaker on the LG Viatera or HI-MACS counter surface and your battery will automatically charge! Check out their website http://www.lgtechtop.com/ to get the details and demo.

Tech Top by LG - diagram

Tech Top by LG

Viking Incognito Induction Warmer — this product installs under any counter surface and cooks through it with induction technology.

Viking Incognito Induction Warmer signage

Viking Incognito Induction Warmer counter closeup

Viking Incognito Induction Warmer counter closeup shows no visible signs of the technology

The Viking Professional French-Door Double Wall Oven — this design gives a modern, commercial look to your oven. It matches the current French-Door refrigeration trends and allows users to open using one hand. Perfectly designed for ADA needs. The large convection fan with bi-directional movement allows maximum airflow and excellent cooking results.

Viking Professional French-Door Double Wall Oven

The Viking Professional French-Door Double Wall Oven is perfectly designed for ADA needs

MasterBrand Cabinetry — Omega, Dynasty and Homecrest — these are our favorite cabinet lines and they can be used anywhere. Laundry, mudroom, and craft room are just a few possibilities!

Laundry cabinetry

Lots of storage keeps your laundry area organized

mudroom cabinetry

A mudroom never looked so good before! Everyone has everything they need ready to go out the door.

craft area cabinetry

An organized craft area provides everything you need within easy reach

Visit a Kitchen Views showroom and meet with a designer to add these great features to your dream kitchen, or any area of your home.

Brandy Souza, General Manager of Kitchen Views

Completing the Ensemble: The Importance of Quality Decorative Cabinetry Hardware by Dennis Serge

Dennis Serge of Kitchen Views

Customers face a great many decisions when designing or renovating their kitchen. For whatever reason, choosing the hardware for their new cabinetry can sometimes be one of the more daunting selections. Frequently, the questions my clients ask me fall into one of three categories:

WHAT COMBINATION OF KNOBS AND PULLS (HANDLES) IS BEST FOR ME?
Some people like the simplicity of using knobs throughout the kitchen. Others, especially in a more contemporary design, will use all pulls. Most folks seem to prefer a combination — knobs on the doors, pulls on the drawer fronts, or vice versa. Also, consider how the pull or knob feels when you pull on it. A pull might look great, but if it doesn’t feel comfortable to you then it will quickly become annoying. One great thing about visiting our showroom is that you can try out the function of decorative hardware that is installed in our inspiring kitchen vignettes. The truth of the matter is that there is no right and wrong here. The deciding factor is what is most functional for your family and looks the best in your eyes.

This drawer pull has crisp features that look great. But delicate hands might find this pull uncomfortable to use.

This drawer pull has crisp features that look great. But delicate hands might find this pull uncomfortable to use.

WHAT HARDWARE WILL CONTRAST WELL WITH MY NEW CABINETS?
Beyond the obvious observation that a highly stylized, contemporary hardware will tend to look out of place on very traditional, raised panel cabinetry, consider what style is currently popular and see if you think they are a good match for your cabinets. Plain chrome and polished brass hardware can look nice on certain styles of cabinetry, but for the most part they have given way to finishes like brushed chrome, oil rubbed bronze, and other weathered type finishes. These should remain popular for years to come, and are not a “trendy” choice like some glass hardware, hardware with inserts, and other styles that a customer might tire of a few years down the road.

This cabinet pull with curved shape and textured surface works well with traditional or contemporary cabinetry.

This cabinet pull with curved shape and textured surface works well with traditional or contemporary cabinetry.

HOW MUCH SHOULD I EXPECT TO PAY FOR MY HARDWARE?
Here the old adage applies, “you get what you pay for”. Don’t be afraid to ask if the hardware you are considering is solid metal or an alloy, of if there is a warranty on the finish. If the hardware is too inexpensive or poorly made, it can literally begin to tarnish in just a few months. Hardware is the finishing touch on your new kitchen, and it can be a focal point that enhances or detracts from the overall appearance you are trying to achieve. As an example, imagine if you will, watching a glamorous actress stroll down the red carpet in an exquisite designer gown, and then seeing that she is wearing obviously cheap dime store costume jewelry. It ruins the whole ensemble. It’s much the same with cabinet hardware. Don’t make the mistake of skimping on the hardware to save a few dollars at the end of the project.

The finishing touches make all the difference.

Dennis Serge | Showroom Sales & Design
Kitchen Views | 71 Maple St, Mansfield, MA
dserge@kitchenviews.com

Check List for Kitchen & Bath Remodeling

Brandy Souza of Kitchen Views

Kitchen Views at National Lumber enjoyed hosting our first EM NARI Networking event on April 16 along with co-host Allstate Glass. Two of our PRO Force salesmen, who specialize in working with remodelers, were there discussing current building projects.

Steven Kaitz, owner of National Lumber at the EM NARI Networking Event

Steven Kaitz (right), owner of National Lumber at the EM NARI Networking Event in the Kitchen Views showroom, Mansfield, MA

Many demonstration areas were available, including:

•  Allstate Glass frameless glass shower enclosures and back-painted glass backsplashes

•  Schrock and Dynasty representatives showed our vignettes of their cabinetry products and answered questions

•  Häfele introduced their new cabinet lighting that is installed in our two new kitchen vignettes

•  One of our Mansfield designers introduced our new cabinet re-facing program

•  Closet Factory showed their new finishes for custom closet products

Look for more photos in our Facebook and Google+ albums.

The night was filled with food, drinks and fantastic company. We had big winners too! Nancy from Masters Touch won a gift certificate to Closet factory. Dave from Home Repairs Carpentry in Norwood won a gift certificate to Allstate Glass, and Dave from Miller Construction won a Häfele tool kit and gift certificate for their product line.

But the biggest winner is the EM NARI scholarship fund. Annually, a scholarship is awarded to an immediate family member of an EM NARI member who is a high school graduating senior who has been accepted as a full-time student to an accredited college or university in any program of study. Thanks to everyone who attended we collected $800 for the scholarship fund.

Builders had a chance to see many of the new products going into kitchens now. Many of them feel the market for remodeling is strengthening. Adding these products to any renovation is sure to add value to a customer’s home.

Mike McDole speaking to a guest at the EM NARI Networking Event

Mike McDole, National Lumber’s Senior Vice President of Sales, speaking to a guest at the EM NARI Networking Event in the Kitchen Views showroom.

We are looking forward to another networking night! We invite you to check National Lumber’s website Events page, national-lumber.com/events, periodically to see what’s coming up.

In the meantime, we invite you to visit a National Lumber location near you to find out about the PRO Force Remodelers program. Feel free to visit a Kitchen Views at National Lumber showroom and speak to one of our designers about your next project.

Brandy Souza
General Manager of Kitchen Views


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