Posts Tagged 'kitchen design blog'



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

Small Kitchen Designs That Work: Versatility to Accommodate Color Palette Changes

Big ideas for small spaces

The general rule is to avoid being outlandish with kitchen design choices, as you yourself may get sick of extreme color choices. But if you are a free-spirit who thrives on change, you may want to be bolder with your kitchen design choices. We recommend that you plan ahead so that you can enjoy making changes, but keep it affordable. An experienced kitchen designer can help you build the right bones into the kitchen, which will allow you to adapt — even annually if you desire — to the latest style trends.

Many kitchen remodels — even as recently as a few years ago — were aimed towards resale value. But now, if you are one of the many folks remodeling for their own personal comfort as they stay put longer, you can focus on the way you would like your kitchen to look. Some people make big changes to the ambiance of their kitchen with the time-honored use of paint on the walls and choices of colorful accessories, which can be changed fairly easily if you want to change up the atmosphere of the room. But we have an additional suggestion, which can be more affordable than you’d imagine.

Start by investing in the best cabinetry that you can afford — in a timeless style that suits the rest of the home. Then choose laminate for the countertops rather than stone. Laminate will provide you with a more economical way to make a big style change. It’s no longer your grandmother’s laminate – the number of color choices are staggering. Some even mimic stone. Laminate is a hardworking surface that now is also quite beautiful. This could be a very good choice for a young family. Laminate will provide a hardworking surface to withstand everyday spills, baking projects like holiday cookies and even constructing science projects like the ever popular volcano!

Custom edges from Wilsonart give your countertop the sculpted look of more expensive materials, like granite, at a fraction of the cost. It’s a beautiful look on a modest budget, a choice that feels as smart as it looks.

As time goes by, you might want to repaint the walls and change the accessories. These are manageable changes for a busy family, but that can make your kitchen feel like new.

Then, when the children have become teenagers, because laminate is so affordable you may decide to update the kitchen with a new laminate countertop to freshen up the kitchen. Laminate will continue to serve you well for everything from cooking lessons to pizza parties.

Good planning with an experienced designer will make your kitchen versatile for style changes as the years go by.

Kitchen Views
www.kitchenviews.com

Wish Lists Meet Reality

Small Kitchen Before (unfortunately, not the best quality before photo, but you can see the old layout)

When you begin dreaming of a new kitchen, a good way to start is with a wish list. But to keep yourself from being disappointed, temper your wishes with a clear evaluation of the reality of your situation. This particularly relates to remodeling – the trickiest kind of kitchen design, which greatly benefits from the talents of an experienced designer.

Remodeling can face design restrictions due to the available budget or the existing structure of your home. In some instances it’s possible to make structural changes, such as knocking down a wall to join an existing dining room with the kitchen. Structural changes could be more extensive, such as moving windows, doors, plumbing, or event construction of an addition to the home. But, many homeowners need to stay within the current “footprint” of the existing kitchen.

The priority must be on making the room function well, or you won’t be happy with the room no matter what it looks like. Rather than listing items to add to your kitchen, or focusing on cabinetry style, begin with a wish list of what tasks you want to accomplish in your kitchen. For example: daily meals, occasional baking, family meals, homework area, etc. How many people need to use the kitchen at one time? Will meals be served in the kitchen? Will it be a couple of people catching a quick meal? Does the eating area need to fit a large family, or is there a separate dining room available? If you like to buy in bulk, that needs to be taken into consideration.

You should select a designer who will take time to listen to you about how you want your new kitchen to function. Then, be willing to listen with an open mind as the designer suggests realistic options of room layout and cabinetry solutions to accomplish the necessary tasks. What functional problems are you having with the existing kitchen? Is it actually functioning well, and you really just want a style update?

In this kitchen remodel, the door was moved over to make space for the dishwasher next to the sink.

An experienced kitchen designer will guide you through realistic options to make the available space best serve your needs, based on the reality of your budget and your home’s particular structure. Especially if you must stay within the existing “footprint” of the room, and you are considering adding elements to the space, the kitchen designer will be able to inform you of building code requirements that dictate placement of cabinets and appliances. For example, there must be at least 36 inches walking area width between wall cabinets and an island. That could affect the size of an island you can include, or make an island impossible to fit. Remember, the code requirements exist to avoid problems and hazards. You may discover that the existing layout really is the best use of the space. But improvements can still be made in other ways.

Once the project parameters are established, then the designer will suggest options that are appropriate to your space. If adequate space is available, a multi-functional island could be a good choice. If there isn’t room in the floor plan for a large island, perhaps a small island can be created that will still provide you with a valuable working and storage area. You may have to accept limits on what you can fit into the new kitchen, but an experienced designer can often find creative solutions to accommodate your needs. For example, if you must stay within the “footprint” of the existing cabinetry, it becomes especially important to find special storage cabinetry that will make better use of the space. (See our previous article on specialty storage cabinets. I particularly like the pantry cabinet options.)

Once the function of the room is established, then you can begin thinking about style, color, wood species, etc. Having first established your structure, the designer can now help you work within your budget to select cabinetry and countertops. Perhaps you can use more affordable stock cabinets for most of the kitchen, and use a custom cabinet for only one special purpose. For either cost or function, maybe you should consider laminate rather than a synthetic or stone countertop. Kitchen Views offers a wide range of quality products across many price ranges.

Getting expert guidance on room function and product options will give you the best outcome. Benefit from professional insight for the structure of the room and complete the kitchen with your style choices. Remember, Kitchen Views is where the designers are pros and the views are yours.

Kitchen Views

Web: www.kitchenviews.com

Small Kitchen Designs That Work: Color Schemes

We’ve previously discussed having natural lighting to illuminate and open up your small kitchen space. Color schemes in your kitchen are also very important. Bright colors, especially white, are even more at home in a small kitchen design. Having neutral or bright colored cabinetry and countertops can help significantly to make the kitchen feel more spacious and welcoming.

Too many existing small kitchens are like caves. If there isn’t sufficient natural lighting, even beautiful dark hardwood cabinetry can make the space can feel cramped and unwelcoming. Adding to the dark theme with dark countertops, and possibly dark flooring, will make it feel as if the walls are closing in on you. This isn’t to say you can’t have dark colors in your small kitchen. You just need to be mindful of selecting perhaps the flooring to be dark and the cabinetry to be white or light-colored. Then, depending on your taste, you could choose a dark countertop if you desire. Having plenty of natural light or brighter colors on the painted surfaces and/or accessories to contrast the darker aspects of your kitchen will provide balance.

There are plenty of galley type kitchens that can employ dark cabinetry as long as they have a much lighter colored countertop and perhaps lighter colored (perhaps silver) appliances to contrast the darkness and keep the kitchen more vibrant, because being all dark colored can be dull. It’s a matter of personal taste, but in general, it’s good to keep the colors varied, without being too starkly contrasting — and include plenty of natural and electric lighting. Ask your designer to help you decide what color schemes will work best for your space and your personal style.

Kitchen Views
www.kitchenviews.com

Don’t Forget About the “Other Wall” in Your Kitchen

Lisa Zompa, Kitchen Designer Blog

I’d like to bring up the subject of, what I call, the “other wall” in the kitchen. It is that wall that is most often an interior wall that either has nothing on it (is blank) or has a table or a piece of furniture up against it. There may even be a desk set-up against it. No matter what is there, it usually appears cluttered and is quite the eye-sore.

When visiting the client’s home to discuss the remodeling plans, I always spend time discussing this wall space. As the orphan child of the kitchen, it can often get left out of the plans and thereby ruin the look of a new kitchen. I encourage the customer to include it in the plans. It is valuable real estate for extra storage, desk areas, serving areas, etc. etc. and should be included in the kitchen plans.

The “other wall” offers many opportunities for the designer to be creative and offer the client some of the design elements that sometimes the rest of the kitchen space is too tight to allow. For example, a hutch can be built with a bumped out center cabinet (drawers are nice) with an arched toe space. Fluted columns could be added to each side of that and then build from there out to each side depending on the amount of space the “other wall” has. Glazed, mullioned doors could be used at the top over the bumped out bottom with the same fluted columns (fillers) to each side to mimic the bottom. Before I forget, I always flush out the toe spaces and add baseboard molding on these “other wall” designs. It gives the illusion of being a furniture piece.

If it is not possible to use full depth cabinets on the “other wall” then by all means reduce the depths on the cabinets and make shallow depth serving areas or hutches. How about a wall of 12” depth tall cabinets? Or, as there is customarily a doorway to the right and/or left of the “other wall”, start at that point with a shallow depth tall cabinet, add a transition cabinet and bump up to the 24” depth with a few base cabinets. Then, another transition and back to a shallow depth tall again. Now you have interest with several depths, you have storage and countertop area for serving or buffet space. Oh yes, don’t forget to flush out the base toe kicks and add the baseboard molding. Heights can reach the ceiling, or not… or even be staggered for interest. Here’s where some creativity can enter into the equation.

Yes, don’t forget the drop-off spot for the keys, phones and chargers, and the mail. (Could you imagine a world in which the USPS no longer exists!?) This is the place you can plan for that, along with, perhaps, the kids’ computer and homework center.

So, don’t forget the “other wall”. It is not only valuable real estate for more storage, but it can add that final design touch that puts the look of the new kitchen more-than-one-step above the ordinary.

Lisa Zompa
Kitchen Views at National
Warwick, RI

Small Kitchen Designs That Work – Storage & Organization Solutions from Schrock and KraftMaid

One of the most important aspects of designing a new kitchen is to consider what tasks you want to accomplish and what storage is needed to support those tasks – general cooking, specialty baking, storage of bulk shopping, storage of special small appliances, etc.

Once you know what you need to store, you can begin looking at the multitude of storage solutions that are available from various cabinetry brands. Shown here are some that you may have seen before, and some that may be new to you. You’ll notice that this specialized type of storage helps you to maximize your available space.

KraftMaid upper cabinet wall filler pullout

What may have been wasted space before can now be useful storage with one of many innovative storage solutions. Cabinetry makers know that designers and homeowners want to get maximum storage per square foot. They’ve taken that need and found many creative solutions. Take for example the spice storage rack by KraftMaid shown above, which is only about 2 or 3 inches wide. It goes to show that cabinetry makers now have storage solutions for every nook and cranny of your kitchen.

KraftMaid base cabinet blind corner with swing out

KraftMaid also offers corner cabinetry options that can be used as alternatives to a Lazy Susan, offering an unprecedented amount of storage space for an otherwise very small corner area.

Schrock also provides many unique and versatile storage solutions. For example, look at the pantry option above. It allows for far more storage than you would expect from a three-foot wide space. Pantries will never be the same!

Schrock Utility organizer holding brooms and cleaning supplies

Schrock has another great narrow cabinetry option, a Utility Organizer that’s only six inches deep. It can serve as a broom closet, or even a small pantry. What could you imagine storing here?

The Kitchen Views Design Team has product knowledge of all the options available for you, and the real-life experience to help you find the best storage solutions for your new kitchen.


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