Posts Tagged 'kitchen design blog'

Understanding the Design Journey

Nicole Amaral, Kitchen Views Designer

Comfort
The word comfort does not seem to fit what most people think of when planning a remodeling project. But in fact, the Kitchen Views Team will make you feel comfortable with the process, or as we say – help you enjoy the design journey.

Whether a kitchen or bath remodel, or adding built-in storage to your home, the early stages of planning your project can be overwhelming. Time and time again I hear stories from customers about their previous discouraging experiences before arriving at our showroom hoping to find real help.

Starting a remodel is never easy, but it is something that our experienced designers can help you enjoy as we move through the process together. Experience has taught us how to face the inevitable challenges of a remodeling project and find the solutions needed.

Country kitchen sink area in North Attleboro home designed by Nicole Amaral

Style
Designing on trend is easy for a designer since it is within their comfort zone, but it is not necessarily what you want. The designer you are working with should be able to design specifically for you within the style that makes you happy and what will go well with your home, not just what is currently trendy.

Understanding
The importance of having a designer listen to you is paramount – it is the key to a successful outcome. It does not matter how beautiful your kitchen remodel is once it is completed if it does not function in the way that you need. When it comes to weighing your wants and needs in a kitchen, it is important for your designer to understand you as an individual, then dig into your wish list and decipher what is truly important to YOU. How often do you cook? Do you bake? Do you entertain large groups of people? Or do you prefer a small casual dining space? Are there any special physical considerations needed – such as being left-handed, or needing to sit while you work? Are universal design elements important to you or members of your family?

Lots of storage space is available in the island of this country-style kitchen plus more cabinetry around the perimeter of the kitchen designed by Nicole Amaral

Storage
Early in the process, when discussing the layout, you need to talk to your designer about what you need to store in the available space. Are you storing tall pots and pans, do you keep a lot of spices, how many dish sets do you have, and what are you cooking, or baking? These answers tell the designer which appliances, work areas, and supply storage are needed.

Work areas and seating are designed to accommodate traffic flow in this country-style kitchen by Nicole Amaral

Traffic
Another key component to designing a kitchen that functions well is to look at the traffic flow through the space. In other words, who is going to be in your kitchen? Do you have young children, do you have a lot of company over, or do you throw a lot of parties? Answering these questions will help the designer make the layout serve your needs. Appropriate placement of workstations, walkways and seating rely on your needs and expectations .

Chemistry
If you do not feel happy with how your designer is communicating with you, or the ideas they are presenting, speak up. Clear communication is vital to a successful outcome. Do not be afraid to ask for a new designer or go elsewhere. It is better to feel understood and confident with your designer than to struggle through the process feeling misunderstood. Sometimes a fresh set of eyes, new ideas and different opinions will help you move forward confidently with your remodel.

Which brings us back to Comfort
Even though the remodeling process is detail-oriented, and sometimes a challenge as your normal routine is disrupted during construction, it should not be overwhelming. Your designer should always make you feel comfortable with taking the next step. If at any point something is making you feel uncomfortable or unhappy, and you are questioning any part of the process or progress of your project, take a moment to pause and ask questions. Standing in the middle of a space under construction is a new experience for most homeowners. A skilled designer should be able to explain their planned outcome for the design in detail, the reasons for the pace of the work, while also being able to take your constructive criticism and if necessary tweak their design into something that makes you comfortable. The designer’s goal is to exceed your expectations with a beautiful result that you will enjoy for years to come.

Nicole Amaral
Kitchen Views, 90 Norfolk St, Mansfield, MA 02048

Internet Purchasing vs Showroom with Experienced Designer

Kitchen Views blog header for designer Mary Jane Robillard

You can buy anything on the internet. Websites like Amazon bring the entire world to our doorstep, but anyone who shops online knows that what you see is not always what arrives. Receiving an ill-fitting dress in the mail is annoying, but if that dress is your outfit plan for an upcoming event, this inconvenience becomes a crisis.

Young happy couple using a laptop in the kitchen at home

With this example in mind, consider the myriad of issues you might encounter when buying cabinets on the internet. Sure, you can measure your space and try to figure out the items that will hopefully fit, but why would you forego consulting an experienced designer from a reputable company when making a sizable investment in your home?

kitchen plan sketch hand drawn

Continue reading ‘Internet Purchasing vs Showroom with Experienced Designer’

Kitchen islands encourage sharing and teaching

Children helping mother make school lunches at kitchen island

As children go back to school, every parent knows it’s time to make school lunches and do homework again. Large kitchen islands have become a favorite gathering place for families to enjoy time together while doing these daily tasks.

Involving children in meal preparation gives them important time together as a family, which not only teaches them about good nutrition, but provides them with emotional connections to each other. In our highly technological society, family time is more valuable than ever.

Young family together at kitchen island, close up

Sharing time together while doing homework is more emotionally rewarding than just learning their school lessons. Especially for young children, being sent to another room to do homework can feel like punishment. Interacting with parents while establishing good study habits can help them develop a lifelong love of learning. As children get older, they may require more solitude while studying, but they’ll be more productive because they learned these early lessons as a family.

Girl at kitchen island with young women, preparing meal in the kitchen

Kitchen islands with seating for casual meals are not just convenient. While it may make meals easier to prepare, eat and cleanup all in one place, this family gathering place is about building happy memories together.

Man teaching boy food prep at kitchen island

Building confidence is an important aspect of life skill lessons and leads to healthy independence. When children are old enough to handle a knife safely, cooking lessons get more technical. As with most learning, hands-on experience is the best way to learn.

It’s important to consider how you want your family to interact daily when planning a kitchen remodel. As a major family gathering space, the importance of a kitchen should not be underestimated. The best kitchen design is much more than the style and color of cabinetry and whether to include an island. An experienced kitchen designer will listen and learn about what works for your family. That allows them to design a living space that works well for you. Your designer will expertly handle the storage issues, appliance placement, and space layout so that you’ll simply enjoy using your kitchen for years to come.

When you’re ready to get started with the planning stage of a kitchen design, or remodel, start your research in the “Getting Started” section of our website. Then contact a Kitchen Views showroom near you to get the personalized attention you deserve.

Our designers work hard to exceed your expectations.

Contact Kitchen Views at 508-DESIGNS [337-4467] or visit our website for more information.

Imagine … an outdoor kitchen for true outdoor living

Family eating meal outside in garden

While the current heat wave in New England has everyone either running into the air conditioning, or jumping in a pool, this extreme heat is not the norm for our area. Outdoor spring and summer days in New England are long awaited and usually beautiful.

If you enjoy entertaining in your backyard, you may already have a deck with a casual dining area and a grill to cook traditional summer meals like hamburgers and hot dogs.

As you’ve been enjoying your backyard this summer, have you been wishing you had a real outdoor kitchen for al fresco family meals and summer parties? Kitchen Views now sells Wolf Endurance cabinetry, specifically made for outdoor kitchens.

Continue reading ‘Imagine … an outdoor kitchen for true outdoor living’

Minimize the Kitchen Footprint with Single-Wall Design

3D rendering of modern kitchen in a loft.

Kitchens are most commonly laid out in one of three floor plans, L-shaped, U-shaped, and galley. A less popular, but still functional design is the single-wall kitchen. Single-wall kitchens are designed with the elements of the typical work triangle along one wall. Typically seen in apartments or other small homes where maximizing space and efficiency is at the forefront of design, this style of kitchen is gaining popularity in larger homes with open concept floor plans.

Kitchen interior sketches hand drawing front view. Contour vector illustration kitchen furniture and equipment. Cupboard shelves dishes table lamp clock crane dishwasher fridge microwave.

These kitchens work well because they keep all appliances and cooking tools within reach. This design often has the sink set in between the range and the refrigerator, offering easy clean up and usually has counter space on either side of the range.  With the kitchen viewed as a social hub within the home, the small kitchen footprint creates a feeling of openness and flows seamlessly with other rooms.

3d illustration of interior design loft style kitchen and livingroom. The concept of commercial interiors "My room" for gatherings with friends and Leisure. You can watch football and play computer games

A common challenge in single-wall kitchens is the lack of work space with the range, sink, and refrigerator taking up valuable counter space.  A solution to this in apartments or small homes is purchasing a counter height dining table that doubles as work space or a rollaway island.  In larger homes, a permanent kitchen island is a popular addition to provide supplementary storage and work space while maintaining the open floor plan.

Kitchen interior in modern flat with stove dining table picture on wall. Concept of cooking at home. 3d rendering. Mock up

Maximizing storage space is one of the most desirable features in any kitchen. With the compact design of the single wall kitchen, it becomes even more important. Tall upper cabinets, bridge cabinets, and creative use of built in shelving will help to maximize storage. Additionally, the use of an island (both permanent and rollaway) will help to increase the amount of available storage.

an image of Modern Kitchen drawers and Granite Countertop

No kitchen is too small for the talented designers at Kitchen Views. Visit one of the six Kitchen Views showrooms to meet with one of the designers and begin designing the perfect kitchen for your space.

Kitchen Views Wins Best of Houzz 2017

Kitchen Views in Warwick, RI has won “Best of Design” on Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. Kitchen Views was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that compromise the Houzz community from more than one million active home building, remodeling, and design industry professionals.

Private Residence - Pawtucket, RI - Kitchen

This Pawtucket, RI kitchen designed by Lisa Zompa has been saved to over 5,000 ideabooks on Houzz

The Best of Houzz award helps homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area featured on Houzz. The Kitchen Views at National portfolio includes some of the most popular images on Houzz 2016. Kitchen Views also maintains an active presence on the platform and answers questions from the millions of worldwide users who may wish to duplicate the popular style seen in the photos.

Private Residence - Pawtucket, RI - Kitchen

Lisa Zompa, designer at Kitchen Views Warwick, has over 12 years of experience in kitchen and bathroom design. Lisa has an interior design degree and joined Kitchen Views in early 2010 to serve the Rhode Island area. Lisa says “to be honored by Houzz for a second time is a great compliment. The Pawtucket kitchen was designed a few years ago so it is really nice to know that my designs appeal to a wide range of people and that this design has stood the test of time.”

Private Residence - Bristol, RI Kitchen and Bathroom

Lisa Zompa in a kitchen she designed for a home in Bristol, RI

Kitchen Views is proud to offer exceptional customer service, talented designers, exquisite showrooms, and quality products. For unlimited options, Kitchen Views offers multiple lines of custom cabinetry, decorative hardware, and stunning countertops.  Whether you want a traditional, contemporary, or “green” design, you will find it at Kitchen Views.

Vice President of Industry Marketing for Houzz, Liza Hausman, says “we’re so pleased to award Best of Houzz 2017 to this incredible group of talented and customer-focused professionals like Kitchen Views. Kitchen Views was singled out for recognition by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts for help to turn their home improvement dreams into reality.”

Click here to visit Kitchen Views’ Houzz profile and see the popular and beautiful work of Lisa and Kitchen Views. Kitchen Views has six unique and stunning showrooms across New England.  Meet with our talented designers to be inspired in the planning and delighted in the results.

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

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

Historical Roots of the Modern Kitchen by Don James

Don James, Kitchen Views

Have you ever thought about the historical roots of the modern kitchen? As with most things in life that we take for granted today, form really does follow function.

Born and raised in historic downtown Hingham, Massachusetts, I’ve always had an affinity for elements of architectural design and aesthetics. Researching historic facts of architecture has informed my design ability. There is so much we can learn about ourselves by studying the past and the lessons learned by those who came before us.

Sioux indians (mid-1800s) gathered around the cooking fire

Sioux Indians (mid-1800s) gathered around the cooking fire

Settlers of the American West gathered around the Chuck Wagon

Settlers of the American West gathered around the Chuck Wagon

We are inherently drawn to the source of our nourishment, but most of us don’t think about it consciously. Without a building, we are drawn together around the cooking fire. This shared experience forges emotional ties. Family loyalty is strengthened by these everyday routines.

The kitchen is now truly the heart of the home, however, this wasn’t always the case. From the colonial period up until the mid-20th century, most kitchens were an afterthought in the planning of a house.  They were simple rooms predominantly for food storage and minimal food preparation. They lacked space and no one could say they were “designed.” The cooking methods and tools of the day were primitive, which left kitchens dysfunctional for centuries.

Typical kitchen in the early 1900s

Early 1900s

Typical kitchen 1920-1930

1920-1930

Typical kitchen in the 1940s

1940s

It was not until the late 19th century that iron stoves became commercialized and municipality systems for gas, water and electric became readily accessible. Once these advances took place, kitchens were poised for transition, and the kitchen industry was born.

The industrial period led to scientific studies of productivity that considered efficiency dealing with movement and spacing, from which came kitchen design concepts that took into account the process of food preparation. The stove, sink, refrigerator and counter space were identified as key work areas and were now being spaced according to a well-thought-out design for maximum efficiency.

Starting in the 1950s, household work came into vogue depicting the “perfect” middle class household. As a result, even more emphasis was placed in the kitchen. Traditionally, the kitchen had been built at the back of the house, away from living areas. The advancement in technology, flooring, lighting, etc., changed the location of the kitchen within the home.

With this new focus on kitchen appliances, and the development of suburban neighborhoods, competitiveness required that upwardly mobile families had state-of-the-art kitchens. “Keeping up with the Jones’” became a way of life. These modern appliances had become both necessities and status symbols.

With pride in their modern kitchens, families were happy to gather at the kitchen table to eat meals together, instead of in a separate dining room. Kitchens were becoming the place that brought the family together. This was the beginning of the concept of a kitchen as “the heart of the home.”

This period of rapid development from the 1950s through the end of the century saw the family gathering place being improved. With homeowners willing to invest in modern kitchens, designers explored color choices and new materials (such as the aqua blue 1960s kitchen shown below), storage options inside the cabinets, and new configurations to eating areas (such as the 1970s picture with seating around an island instead of a stand-alone table).

Typical kitchen in the 1950s

1950s

Typical kitchen in the 1960s

1960s

Typical kitchen in the 1970s

1970s

The 1980s saw a change in kitchen layouts, which most people didn’t realize was moving them out of “the heart of the home.” Kitchens began to be designed with work islands in the center, to provide more work space for meal preparations. The kitchen table got pushed to the side, or back into a designated dining room. Individuals went to their bedrooms or a designated family room and/or entertainment area during their recreation time.

Typical kitchen in the 1980s

1980s

Typical kitchen in the 1990s

1990s

How many people understood that this physical separation was creating an emotional rift in their family? There is no one factor responsible for the shift in American society. But any honest observer recognizes that we went through a turbulent period with jobs requiring relocation or frequent travel, a rise in the divorce rate and a generation that was out there trying to “find itself.” Perhaps that’s why we’ve finally seen a shift back to the importance of family, whatever form that family takes.

Today’s kitchen is the focal point and gathering place for family and friends. Kitchen islands have transitioned back to include seating for the family to gather in the kitchen, at least for casual meals. The family is also being brought together with the contemporary concept of an open floor plan. This could include a dining area as well as a family room and/or entertainment area. Parents want a line of sight to see small children playing while they do their kitchen tasks. Older children working on homework or playing video games are still “part of the family” instead of off in their bedrooms alone. The family cook may have felt separated from the family, alone behind a wall. With open concept layouts, the person preparing meals can easily converse with the family. The concept of the kitchen as “the heart of the home” has been expanded to include a larger family living area.

It’s where family bonds are made, a place where kids do homework and preparing meals with one another is a pleasant activity. Today’s kitchen is fully integrated into your lifestyle and deserves to be stylish and functional.

contemporary 2014 open concept kitchen and living area

This open concept kitchen and living area layout is a good example of what we have discussed as a contemporary style.

Traditional cabinetry details are included in this contemporary open concept kitchen.

Traditional cabinetry details are included in this contemporary open concept kitchen.

current-2014-two-islands-in-open-concept-kitchen-layout

This open concept kitchen includes two large islands, with natural flow into the family living area.

 

As you can see from these examples, there are endless variations on the theme of open concept. Your kitchen should reflect your aesthetic and your lifestyle.

Don James | Showroom Sales & Design
Kitchen Views | 3356 Post Road, Warwick, RI
djames@kitchenviews.com

Don graduated from Wentworth Institute of Technology’s Architectural Engineering Program. He began his career in 1986 hand drafting kitchens for other designers. Don’s notable skill in conceptual design has earned him a reputation as one of the areas premiere kitchen designers.


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