Posts Tagged 'kitchen design blog'



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

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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.

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

KBIS 2014 Items of Note from Brandy Souza

Brandy Souza of Kitchen Views

I enjoyed attending Design and Construction Week February 3–6, the combined 2014 IBS and KBIS show in Las Vegas, with some of our top customers. It was a terrific opportunity to show them the latest products and trends, plus enjoy the fine food and hospitality of Las Vegas.

Style trend to note – most of the displays show flat or recessed panel doors. Raised panel is no longer in demand.

Omega display at 2014 KBIS of TURILLA cabinetry

Omega display at 2014 KBIS of TURILLA cabinetry

I want to mention that Omega now has stainless steel inset doors. They are inset into a wood frame which would prevent the doors from sticking during high humidity levels like wood doors.

Omega display at 2014 KBIS of CALDERA cabinetry with some flip-up doors.

Omega display at 2014 KBIS of CALDERA cabinetry with some flip-up doors.

We also checked out the flip-up door. It has a mechanical device so that when a button is pressed, the flip-up door automatically closes. This is great for shorter people who can’t close the flip-up door once it is open as the handle is too high.

Masterbrands SOHO Thermofoil Woodgrain Silt and Custom Aluminum Framed Doors

Masterbrands SOHO Thermofoil Woodgrain Silt and Custom Aluminum Framed Doors

Our time at the show flew by quickly. Since there is so much to see, it helps to have a plan or at least a list of top things to see. If you’re a builder interested in attending next year, you may want to consider going for an entire week so that you can enjoy all that Las Vegas has to offer, and spend maximum time on the show floor.  Until then, or for homeowners looking for inspiration, we hope that you’ll visit one of our Kitchen Views showrooms to see our cabinetry vignettes that display a wide range of styles.

Contact Kitchen Views at 1-508-DESIGNS (337-4467) to arrange a personal consultation with a designer who will guide your design journey to a new kitchen you will enjoy for years to come.

Brandy L. Souza
Assistant General Manager
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
120 Welby Rd, New Bedford, MA 02745
Office: 508-990-8020 x3163
Fax: 508-742-1498
bsouza@kitchenviews.com

Welcome 2014 Design Trends!

Brandy Souza, Kitchen Views at National Lumber

If you’re looking for kitchen design inspiration, below is a list of my favorite trends for 2014. Remember, you can subscribe to receive Kitchen Views blogs via email. Look at the top of the right-hand column to find the place to sign-up. In the weeks to come, we’ll be discussing these trends and providing inspiring photos.

1) Transitional design is growing in popularity. Even with traditional design having a strong arm here in New England, consumers want  sleek, clean lines rather than a great deal of detail in the doors.

2) Neutrals, which have played a large role as wall colors, have now jumped into kitchen cabinet finishes. Greys, grey/whites, putty and tans are now preferred colors over pure white for cabinets.

3) Large single bowl sinks still reign king, but now with more interesting materials and textures. Copper, polished chrome, fireclay and soapstone are a few fun finishes consumers are putting in their kitchens.

4) Glass mosaic backsplash is sold everywhere now, but the 2014 twist is to have a single pane of glass with the back painted in any accent color you wish. It is easier to keep clean as it has no grout lines, and it is a sleeker look.

5) Access to Wi-Fi is a must for the kitchen area. More consumers work from their islands, look up recipes on their kindles and they are checking their favorite social media pages over coffee in the morning.

6) Multiple refrigeration is key for the many different diets consumers are following in their homes. From Paleo, Vegetarian, Vegan, to Gluten free and my personal favorite, wineo, you need to plan for different ways to preserve foods. Different humidity levels are key with vegetables and grains while light and temperature are critical to wine and cheese.

Contact Kitchen Views at 1-508-DESIGNS (337-4467) to arrange a personal consultation with a designer who will guide your design journey to a new kitchen you will enjoy for years to come.

Brandy L. Souza
Assistant General Manager
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
120 Welby Rd, New Bedford, MA 02745
Office: 508-990-8020 x3163
Fax: 508-742-1498
bsouza@kitchenviews.com

Finding the Right Kitchen Designer

This article is from Kitchen Views Magazine’s Premiere issue, Fall 2008:

Jamie Thibeault, Kitchen Designer, Mansfield, MA

Jamie Thibeault, Kitchen Designer, Mansfield, MA

“Finding Mr. or Mrs. Right” (A Kitchen Designer, that is!)

The relationship between kitchen designer and homeowner is like a marriage. You’ll spend a lot of time together, revealing intimate details of your home life and sharing your most hopeful kitchen dreams. If the chemistry works, the result can be a creative, beautiful experience. If not… a possible disaster.

So how do you find an expert kitchen designer who knows his or her way around the project and can help guide you through the entire process, from choosing cabinets to finding a builder? Take some advice from designer Jamie Thibeault, who knows his way around construction sites.

“Ask friends and family who they used for kitchen design and if they would use him or her again. Then ask those designers for other references you can speak with. If they can’t give you any, that’s a red flag. Ask to see other projects, one in progress, which will show you how things are going at a job site, and one from five years ago so you can see how it’s holding up,” says this straight-talking designer.

The next step is to do a gut check for chemistry.

“See if there’s a connection when you speak with them, and make sure they’re really listening to what you’re asking. Ask yourself if you feel they’ll be there for you every step of the way. Anyone can sell you a cabinet. You want more than that, you want a designer who understands your point of view.”

Ask about their background too – many of the best designers have an abundance of experience in the construction trades, architectural or engineering firms. For example, Jamie is a Master electrician who filled in designing kitchens when his wife went on maternity leave 18 years ago. He fell in love with the job and today he works closely with builders and contractors on all kinds of kitchens, from custom homes to multiple-lot subdivisions.

“Knowing my way around construction projects and time-frames definitely gives me insider knowledge that is helpful when planning kitchens,” he says.

Another way to evaluate a designer is to look at project photos. The bonus: you might pick up a few new ideas for your own project along the way!

Jamie Thibeault
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
71 Maple St, Mansfield, MA 02048
Phone: 508-339-8020
www.kitchenviews.com


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