Posts Tagged 'how to design a kitchen'

Can you spot the errors? Educate yourself on “good” kitchen design.

In Paul McAlary’s post, Good Intentions, Bad Designs, he poses the question “What design errors do you see most often, either in the media or in your local market?” This is in follow up to his earlier article, Death by Kitchen Design, where he defines several examples of kitchen design gone wrong.

Some examples he describes include the range or cooktop being too close to cabinetry, a window or an entry doorway. Another hazard is having an island cooktop located too close to the edge of the island where pot and pan handles can overhang and have the potential to be knocked off the stove.

dangerous kitchen design with open space under wall cabinet

Building codes are in place to regulate safety hazards in building structures, but does that mean every design project is actually safe?

Another example he gives is about cabinetry that extends beyond the counter below or not having some other protective base beneath. In this photo of a modern kitchen you see wall storage above and drawer storage below. What’s wrong with this picture?

  • One potential hazard is the possibility of hitting one’s head on the underside of the wall cabinet after going into the lower drawers.

While this design may technically be “up to code,” the potential for danger is still there. Designing your kitchen can be exciting and scary, throughout the whole process. While working with a professional designer and professional contractors are of the utmost importance, so is your own education and vision for your new space.

As you look at different ideas, see if you are able to find instances that you think might be dangerous. Then see if any of these are designed for your new kitchen. If you find something that concerns you, don’t hesitate to tell the professionals you are working with. It’s better to address something that can be potentially harmful as soon as possible, instead of having to spend more money to fix something that may have been averted in earlier stages of the project.

Remodeling Relationships

Every strong personal relationship requires patience and compromise. Remodeling your home requires the same positive attitude. The best relationships grow out of challenges that are faced as a team. The best remodeling results come from a team effort. Get your team prepared for the challenge of remodeling by seeking good advice and it will be a wonderful design journey.

Have you checked out HOUZZ? You’ll find lots of remodeling ideas and helpful information, like this:

Here’s a small excerpt:

Many of the survey’s respondents suggested divvying up responsibilities so each person has a say in the creative process. “I do most of the decorating decisions, but my husband picks the TV that will go on the wall, complete with speakers or a particular fireplace that he likes,” one respondent said. “He gets his say without feeling the need to get involved with my area.”

“We early on decided to assign departments to each other based on our strengths,” another said. “I am Negotiations, Logistics, Procurement, Paint and Design; he is Health & Safety, Food & Drink, Dirty Jobs and Heavy Lifting.”

When you’re ready, we hope you’ll check out to get the professional help to guide you through your design journey.

Kitchen Views – where the designers are pros, and the views are yours
Serving the New England region

Do you want a low maintenance kitchen when you remodel?

Schrock Thermafoil White Cabinetry

Schrock Thermofoil White Cabinetry

An important consideration when planning to remodel your kitchen is how much time you plan to spend cleaning and maintaining the cabinetry. It will only look beautiful for years to come if you care for it on a regular basis. With today’s hectic lifestyles, few people want to spend their precious free time cleaning. Of course, if you can afford it, you could hire someone to do this work. But for the moment, let’s say that’s not an option.

White cabinetry is very popular, and one type of white cabinetry is particularly easy to clean. Thermofoil cabinets are an easily maintained product. Sleek and smooth-surfaced, Thermofoil cabinetry from Schrock offers a sophisticated appearance along with exceptional durability and ease of maintenance for today’s hard-working kitchen. You should be aware that White and Cashmere color may change slightly over time, depending on environmental conditions.

Thermofoil is a process where heat and pressure are used to bond a thin layer of PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) film to a shaped and glued component made from MDF (medium density fiberboard). The result is a seamless surface that covers a panel’s face and edges. The component back uses a white, seamless melamine surface – excellent for easy cleaning.

Cleaning guidelines from Schrock Cabinetry:
A soft cotton cloth dampened with warm water is usually sufficient to clean your cabinets. If more thorough cleaning is required, please use a fresh solution of mild hand dishwashing liquid mixed with warm water. After cleaning, wipe all surfaces with a clean, damp cloth. Dry immediately using another soft, clean cloth. Click here to read more, such as cleaning products to avoid.

Next time, we’ll talk about easy to clean and maintain countertop material.

Kitchen Views

How to Design a Kitchen: Gathering Ideas

Woman planning home design project

The most important part of any home design project is in the planning stage. While it is next to impossible to foresee every nuance or challenge that may arise in designing in a kitchen, it is possible to be well-prepared. You should have a solid plan in place with which to arm yourself when the multitude of options begin to overwhelm you.

There are so many places to look now for kitchen design inspiration. There are always the traditional avenues like design magazines that you can pick up at a newsstand or at a local design showroom. Oftentimes, the best inspiration doesn’t even come from actual kitchens, but from seemingly disparate things like pieces of antique furniture or from the surrounding geography.

It has been suggested many times that it’s best to keep a sort of “idea book” whether it’s in a folder on your computer or in a physical notebook. If you’re more of the web savvy type, many design idea websites actually let you save pictures that interest you to a sort of online idea book. Two great places we recommend for inspiration are Houzz (a favorite of our designers) or the ever-growing Pinterest. Those two sites in particular make it particularly easy to categorize and segment a sort of idea scrapbook that you can peruse whenever you like, especially Pinterest which allows you to get ideas for just about anything at all.

What is even more important than the inspiration for the overall design, however, is understanding how your kitchen will be used every day by everyone. It’s important to consider universal design elements that work for anyone, while also leaving enough room for unique touches that give the space personality. Also, considerations must be made for the workflow of individuals using the space, as well as having the proper storage space to make sure that everything you may need will be easily available. This planning will keep future clutter to a minimum, if not completely non-existent.

The next step is to look at “before” and “after” photos of various kitchens and see what sort of improvements other people have made. This will provide ideas that you may be able to incorporate into your own design. You can also look at online sources for kitchens that you like, while taking into consideration the many styles, materials, colors, features, and specialty storage options available on the market today. After gathering all of these ideas, it is then that you can go to a kitchen design professional to lay out just what will work for not only for you and your budget, but your home for years to come.

Kitchen Views 

Jim Marrazzo: Design Your Kitchen to Fit Your Needs

Jim Marrazzo, Designer at Kitchen Views in Newton, MA

As a Professional Kitchen Designer, I like to discuss with my clients how they use their kitchen. In my own kitchen I do most of the cooking, so I set up my kitchen to fit my needs. For instance, I have a favorite old spice rack that I keep to the right of the stove — at my fingertips. That works great for me, but might not necessarily work for you.

The design stage is the time to think about how you use your kitchen. It costs you nothing to make changes at this stage of the game, so ask as many questions as possible and change as many things as needed during this phase. Once construction has begun, or worse yet after the cabinets are installed, it can be very costly to make changes at that point.

So when you meet with a kitchen designer, talk to them about how you like your kitchen set-up. Think about things like the locations of spices, pots, pans, dishes, silverware, recycling, trash, etc. Don’t be afraid to say that you need advice on making your new kitchen work better than your old kitchen — that’s what a designer specializes in doing. But the designer needs to know your priorities and preferences. Other things to think about: a place for mail, and a place to plug in cell phones to charge out of the way. Write it all down before you meet with your designer so they can better serve your needs in your kitchen.

Another helpful thing to do is visualization. I tell my clients to picture themselves at their new stove and to think about what they would like to have at their fingertips. How do you want pots, pans and covers organized? Or, when at the sink, do you have a drawer for dish towels? Do you want the dishwasher on the right or the left? Where are dishes, silverware and glasses stored once they are washed?

Visualizing your kitchen from floorplan to rendering to finished product

At Kitchen Views, our designers will provide you with detailed, computer-generated renderings of the plans. Take home the initial design and walk around the space with the plans. Visualize how the new layout will work for daily tasks. Was there something you forgot to mention to the designer? If you realize that you have questions, or are certain that a change is needed, mark up your plans and go over it again with your designer.

With the right guidance, your kitchen will be designed to meet your needs. Depending on the space available, you might not fit everything you want into your space. But, you won’t have to second guess yourself after your kitchen is completed, because you’ll know that you went through it all with a designer that understood your needs and you made the best choices.

Jim Marrazzo
Kitchen Views at National Lumber

15 Needham St, Newton, MA 02461
617-244-8020 x 118 phone
617-969-7426  fax

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