Posts Tagged 'kitchen remodeling'

Living Well by Design

A greenhouse full of lush green tropical plants.
A greenhouse full of lush green tropical plants.

Have you ever entered a solarium full of plants and felt your body relax? Do you enjoy spending time outdoors? There is actually an innate human instinct to connect to nature — it’s called biophilia. Some people may feel it more strongly; many people may have been so cut off from nature by their manmade environment that they don’t realize the difference it would make to their physical and mental well-being to have natural elements present in their daily life.

As we’ve all had to make adjustments to our daily lives because of the pandemic, some people have been altering their home environments to be healthier for their physical well-being. The natural result is that such changes are also better for mental well-being.

Kitchen Herbs - Growing herbs in the kitchen has been gaining popularity with cooks who will use them.

Growing herbs in the kitchen has been gaining popularity with cooks who will use them.

Continue reading ‘Living Well by Design’

Planning is Everything

Woman imagining the style of a new kitchen she's planning

Thinking About the Result You Want

A kitchen remodel is so much more than selecting a style and color for cabinetry. Because selecting those things is fun and inspiring, most homeowners begin there – saving pictures they like of styles and colors. The strong desire to make a change is important because it will take time to achieve the finished result. It’s also helpful for the designer to know your preferences, along with your budget, so they can guide you through the deeper choices that arise from there.

As an integrated part of a house, changes made – even if it is one separate room – impact the entire house in ways you may have not expected. Everything from building code requirements and permits, electrical capacity, and heating/cooling systems need to be addressed by experts. This is why a DIY remodel is not a wise idea. It is so important to work with an experienced designer who knows all about remodeling a home. Whole house style is important to consider, so the new kitchen will feel like it was always meant to be part of the whole. Unless of course you plan to start remodeling an entire house with the kitchen as the first part. Even then, you should have the whole house style in mind for the final outcome.

Continue reading ‘Planning is Everything’

The Beauty of Smart Storage

The Kitchen Views Design Team knows that true beauty goes deep below the surface. This featured kitchen is a beautiful place to entertain as well as prepare meals. The hidden beauty of a well-designed kitchen is found in functioning smoothly. Work smarter, not harder is the ideal. Daily tasks are made easier by strategic storage placement of the necessary items, and clever storage accessories increase ease of finding what is needed quickly and efficiently.

Cabinetry Storage Accessories

At first glance, it looks like decorative fluted millwork is installed on each side of the Viking oven shown (above left). Take a closer look and you’ll find a decorative knob at the top of the panel, where shown above (right) it is used to pull out a clever storage accessory to keep cutting boards and cookie sheets tucked away until needed. Close at hand, but hidden from sight. Not only does this design look nice, it stores these items for ease of use, so one doesn’t have to lean deep into a cabinet to retrieve anything.

Pull-outs are designed in many shapes and sizes to organize all kinds of items so they can be readily retrieved and stored when needed, ideal for storing all kinds of ingredients, with special accessories to hold spices, oils, and larger utensils. Large pull-outs provide easy access to small appliances and more. Not shown here, but seen in some of our showrooms, pantry cabinets have large roll-out shelves for storing everything from dry goods to seldom used small appliances.

Schrock Cabinetry has many clever drawer organizing options

Drawer accessories now go far beyond silverware holders and add more convenience to your kitchen while hiding below the surface — from inserts for popular coffee pods to electric charging stations —these clever ideas streamline both storage and easy access. This defines the luxury of a well-organized living space. Click here to see a video from Schrock about their tiered cutlery divider.

Island Storage for Specific Tasks

Baking has special needs, such as a large work area and a good quality mixer. An island provides all the countertop space needed and plenty of storage for bowls, baking pans, and a plethora of ingredients. A top quality mixer is a heavy appliance, but it doesn’t need to be a chore to bring out when needed.

Kitchen Views designer, Ed Nunes, shares his thoughtful approach: “No need to carry your 30lb KitchenAid® Stand Mixer around ever again, simply release the spring-loaded shelf and lift the appliance to counter height (show above). Baking accessories are easily stored in a pull-out shelf at the bottom of the same cabinet. An electrical outlet should be fitted inside the cabinet, so the mixer always remains plugged in.”

A large, well-appointed island serves multiple purposes. This kitchen has an under counter microwave oven drawer (shown open above right) that keeps this handy appliance out of sight while being easy to use. Preparations are made on the island countertop, lowered into the microwave oven drawer for cooking, then lifted out and placed on the countertop.

Drawers hold oven mitts and utensils. Heavy mixing bowls and other cooking accessories are stored next to the microwave oven on roll-out shelves (shown above left). A dishwasher can be placed within the island or directly behind it near the sink so it’s close at hand to place used dishes, mixing bowls, etc. inside for fast clean up. Imagine how that kind of workspace planning can make your kitchen tasks simpler.

Storage for Clean Up Work

Waste containers are essential but preferred to be out of sight. That makes this cabinet storage accessory one of the most popular. Whether holding one large container, or a pair for collecting waste and recyclable items, they are easily accessed when needed — typically installed near the sink or preparation area — then put quickly out of sight when the task is completed.

Pet Friendly Kitchen Storage

Pet lovers will enjoy this clever setup designed to store treats and food stylishly. Seen above, the drawer has a window to give a glimpse of the treats and the storage area below cleverly hides pet food and bowls until mealtimes.

Schrock Cabinetry has many clever corner cabinet storage accessories

Remodeling Storage Options

For anyone who simply wants to improve the function of their existing kitchen, you’ll be happy to know that many new storage accessories can be installed in existing cabinets and are available in a variety of sizes. Have you ever before seen these solutions for a blind corner cabinet? Click here to see a video from Schrock to see how this pull-out works. You can make previously difficult to reach areas useful with modern accessories like these examples.

Cabinetry Storage for Every Need

These are just a handful of examples offered for today’s cabinetry. Many other options are readily available for just about any application, even bathroom vanities have special storage options available now. So, it is important for you to discuss your needs and wants during the design process.

An experienced designer will know the range of organizational accessories that can be placed inside cabinetry for every room in your home. You can rely on the Kitchen Views Design Team to exceed your expectations of how your new cabinetry will improve your everyday tasks.

These storage ideas are from Ed Nunes. Based in our New Bedford location, he travels across the region designing beautiful homes. Check out his portfolio for more inspiration.

Ed Nunes, Designer
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
New Bedford, MA

Welcome to Kitchen Views’ Designer Blog

Kitchen Views is committed to providing great customer service while protecting our clients and ourselves during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using teleconferencing by computer, our designers can meet with clients virtually and present kitchen designs to review together. If the designer is in one of our showrooms, rather than working from home, they also wear protective masks and gloves. When the time comes to select materials in our showroom, clients come by appointment to one of our thoroughly clean showrooms with proper social distancing.

Kitchen Views designer, Bob Russo, in our Newton showroom wears protective mask and gloves while having a teleconference with a client

Kitchen Views’ Designer Blog is dedicated to offering you the best advice on kitchen remodeling and additional cabinetry uses from our design experts here at Kitchen Views. From contemporary to traditional cabinetry, countertops, decorative hardware and more, our designers will even come to you. We serve the Greater Boston area and all of New England.

Kitchen Views is a kitchen & bath design company with eight unique design showrooms; located at five National Lumber locations in Massachusetts, at National Building Products in Warwick RI, National Building Products in East Hartford CT and at Oxford Lumber in Oxford CT.

If you’d like to keep up with the blog via email, you can easily subscribe using the box at the right. Also, if you have any feedback, questions or concerns, be sure to leave a comment!

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

Spice Up Your Kitchen

Omega Cabinetry, Blue Island in Dark Wood Kitchen

Visit a Kitchen Views showroom to see and feel the quality of the cabinetry you’re purchasing, an important aspect missing from an online shopping experience. What looks good in a picture can be disappointing when seen in person. Kitchen Views sells quality brands that will impress you when you experience them in our showrooms. The construction quality of cabinetry differs, and you want your investment in this foundational element to stand the test of time with solid construction.

Continue reading ‘Spice Up Your Kitchen’

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’

How to avoid kitchen design problems

Planning kitchen design and imagining finished room

In this day of endless home improvement programs convincing homeowners that they can do it themselves from what they’ve learned on television, it’s important to know that designing a kitchen takes thorough planning. We all enjoy the inspiration of seeing what others have done to improve their homes. But that is not the same as having real life experience in planning and implementing an actual home renovation.

Continue reading ‘How to avoid kitchen design problems’

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 Begin the Kitchen Remodeling Process

sweet-savory_after_john_wideshot_500x375

That long overdue decision has been made, and you are finally going to remodel the kitchen! The anticipation is exciting, not to mention overwhelming. But already the anxiety begins as the questions begin to pop.

Where do we begin?

There are many questions to ask as you begin the kitchen remodeling process. Where do we go for help? The best place to start is an experienced kitchen designer. So what does the designer do, and will their services cost anything extra? It depends on where the designer works – whether he or she works for a showroom or independently. Ideally, you want your designer to have design expertise that includes interior design, as well as kitchen design. This is so you can have someone who can advise you with the other design elements of the kitchen (i.e. flooring, backsplash options, wall color, etc.)

Where to start?

When do we start, and how do we start? Will my kitchen designer help me to coordinate all that needs to be done with the kitchen remodel? Start by shopping for a good, knowledgeable, talented, and patient designer! Yes, the design process can be lengthy and tedious, and the installation time will be longer than you had anticipated, and certain things will go wrong. You’ve likely heard some horror stories, and they are scary, to be sure. Get connected with a good designer who can help keep the issues to a minimum and under control.

What about countertops?

Who does countertops? Can I get those through my kitchen showroom? Typically, design showrooms have go to distributors for countertops. They know the best people in the business, so the job will be done well.  Will my designer be able to help with that? Countertops are typically a major component of a kitchen remodel, so your designer should be well-versed in them. They can help you to understand the differences between various countertops, such quartz and granite. Here’s a helpful guide on our blog about selecting countertop materials.

How do you find a good designer?

Where do you find a good designer? Research kitchen websites and information networks (i.e. blogs, etc.) plus check out their reputation online.  Then, go into a kitchen showroom in your area and speak with a designer. Remember, there are a lot of talented designers out there. But you want to find someone whom you will actually want to let into your life for awhile. Of course, if you are in the New England region, we hope you will check out Kitchen Views. In addition to talented designers, we have the backing of parent company National Lumber, a family owned and operated building materials business with over 80 years’ experience.

The most important part of finding a designer is someone who listens to your ideas and understands your own wants and needs. When it comes to any kind of remodeling, you want a designer who is not only professional, but is a helpful friend to guide you through the various questions and challenges you may have.

Once you find the right designer, let your new design friend help you through the process. Follow his or her lead and things will fall into place as they should. Then finally watch as the new kitchen evolves from a drawing or computer generated rendering to the beautiful kitchen your designer promised you!

Kitchen Views designers are chosen for their expertise in project management as well as having design talent. As part of National Lumber, a family owned and operated company that has been serving builders and homeowners since 1934, Kitchen Views provides you with a dependable resource for all your remodeling needs, building materials, and services.

Please call 1-508-DESIGNS [337-4467] to find a showroom and designer in your area.

Kitchen Views
www.kitchenviews.com


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