Kitchens occupy an important place in our homes, and are a fundamental place to gather for a hot meal, homework or just a place to socialize.
Isn’t it time to see if your kitchen needs a facelift?
Our homes should grow and evolve with us, and that often means making necessary updates to help families function better, and enjoy the art of ‘just being home’. Therefore, updating your home with durable counter tops and flooring, energy efficient appliances, and gorgeous cabinetry is an extremely smart move. Home improvements, such as kitchen or bathroom remodels, have the bonus of adding value to your home. This can pay off handsomely should you ever choose to sell. But what level of remodeling project will work best for your home?
Do you need a full kitchen remodel?
A full remodel involves removing your existing cabinets and replacing them with a new, more up-to-date look. It can also involve reconfiguring your layout to better service your family. Moving a sink, shower or stove to a more functional area, can make a drastic change to a room. Evolving your kitchen or bath to keep up with the age and pace of your family is one of the better things you can do for your household.
Do you need a less expensive option?
A partial remodel involves keeping the original cabinet boxes intact, while giving the room a fresh look with new paint, appliances and possibly flooring. If your cabinet fronts are dated or scarred, we can replace the fronts with new doors. This alone can really make a kitchen or bath look new. Combine it with: updated lights, new counter tops and appliances, and your room will really ‘pop’ for a less expensive investment.
Do you just need a new countertop or flooring?
Starting your remodel slowly, in manageable phases, can aid small budgets and time constraints. Just replacing a counter top, or updating a floor can make a measurable difference in an aging home. The wide variety of available materials ensure that your counter top or floor will be durable, functional and beautiful, with options that fit every style and budget. Sometimes just revamping one or two areas can help you visualize how you want the rest of the room to turn out. Baby steps often lead to amazing, better changes on down the road.
Layout is the most important aspect of a well-functioning kitchen. However, not every kitchen can accommodate the ‘kitchen triangle’, so layout must create a convenient flow between appliances and counter space. A proper layout is integral to efficient cooking, and the ability to accommodate several cooks at once. It also allows for family and friends to comfortably socialize in the kitchen.
To get the most out of your remodel, every inch counts. Whether that is countertops, cabinets or flooring, we will design your project to maximize the available space.
Counter tops not only give that ‘wow’ factor to your remodel, but serve an extremely important function. It is essential that they are chosen for durability and easy maintenance, as well as a stunning appearance. Depending on what material you choose, your counter will be a major part of your renovation budget. Because of that, it must be able to withstand stains, hard spills, bumps, cuts, and heat.
Kitchens and bathrooms get a lot of foot traffic, which means daily wear and tear, not to mention spills, splattered food, dropped dishes, makeup and mud. It’s important to choose floors that will be able to withstand this type of gentle abuse, while still looking great and having a long-life span.
There are so many flooring options, that choosing your materials can be a little time consuming. Ask yourself these questions to help simplify your choice:
What style are you going for?
How much maintenance do you want to do?
What kind of traffic will your floor get?
How much of your remodel budget are you allowing for flooring?
‘Wood Look’ Tile - Flooring comes in every style imaginable and can be tailored to your design wishes. If you have a modern farmhouse vibe going, you may want to consider ‘wood look’ tile. It wears as tile, but comes in different colors and grain patterns to mimic the look of real wood. Upkeep is minimal, requiring only a good scrub down with a mop. This style is perfect for homeowners who want to up the ‘wow’ factor of their home, while keeping cost and maintenance to a minimum. ‘Wood look’ tile is only slightly more expensive than plain tile, but with the added benefit of getting that wood floor look.
Wood Floors - If you want to go for the real thing, then wood floors (manufactured or real wood) make for a stunning choice. Carrying a wood floor from the living room or entry way into the kitchen gives a cohesive, less choppy appearance and can make a small area look bigger. Real wood floors are simply that, wooden planks, and while they are richly beautiful, they are susceptible to nicks, scratches and warping. Therefore, special care must be taken when cleaning them. Products that are specifically made for wood floors are best. You might also be wary of placing real wood floors in high traffic areas. Hard spills, shoes and drinks can take their toll on delicate planks.
While nothing will ever completely duplicate the complicated texture of real wood, manufactured wood floors come extremely close. Constructed of several layers, the top layer is actual wood, so it is stained and top coated with a protectant. Less expensive than its big brother, manufactured floors can still scratch, and do need special maintenance. Mopping with water is a no-no as moisture could make the top layer peel or warp, therefore using only specially designated cleaners are suggested.
Tile - If you are going for a more modern appearance, ceramic or porcelain tile can easily achieve that. It comes in a vast array of sizes, colors and patterns and can quickly change the look of a room. Tile comes in either ceramic, or porcelain, with ceramic being less expensive per foot. Porcelain tile is kiln fired to a harder finish, therefore making it slightly more durable. Tile is perfect for bathrooms because of its durability and ‘easy to clean’ maintenance.
Lights have the unique ability to completely transform a room, and thankfully, there are thousands of styles to choose from. Chandeliers, and pendant lights can be used skillfully in kitchens and bathrooms by adding a little sparkle and flair. Recessed lights are perfect for adding brightness to a home and are very understated in their appearance. This gives more upscale lights a chance to shine and become the focal point.
Lighting finishes have evolved over the years and now include: stainless steel, polished nickel, brushed nickel, brass, oil-rubbed bronze, black, copper, white, and chrome. Varying your light finishes can also add variety and style.
For kitchens, recessed lighting is the way to get direct cooking light, while pendants dress up an island. Under cabinet lighting adds a beautiful ambiance to your kitchen and can help light darker corners of your counter.
Cabinets are the cornerstones of kitchens and bathrooms. Not only do they serve an important purpose, but they immediately catch the eye since they occupy so much space in the room. Outdated or well-worn cabinets can make a room look tired and aged. Many home remodels include completely removing the old cabinets and replacing them with new boxes and fronts. If your boxes are in good shape or your budget can’t accommodate a complete gut, then new cabinet and drawer fronts can be installed on old boxes. This gives a clean, newer appearance and can really transform a room. If you are sticking with a modest budget, then a fresh coat of paint will put some pizazz in older cabinets.
Kitchen - Since most cooks need sufficient storage, cabinets can make or break a kitchen. If your kitchen is small, we can achieve this with cabinets that reach the ceiling, as well as high-functioning elements such as roll out drawers, and fold-out spice cabinets. A well-thought out cabinet design not only makes life easier for the cook, but also forms the basis for the entire kitchen layout. Built-in pantries, lazy-Susan’s, small-appliance cubbies, plenty of drawers, and other extras can mean the difference between a cluttered kitchen versus a well-organized one.
Appliances are the keys to ensuring that your kitchen runs smoothly, which is why making a correct selection is vitally important. Replacing your old appliances with new ones not only makes a drastic cosmetic improvement, but also increases the efficiency and value of your kitchen. In addition, newer appliances are extremely energy efficient, which could save you hundreds of dollars a year. Fortunately, appliances range from low-end builder’s grade to high-end commercial grade, and everything in between. This allows new appliances to fit into your remodel plan, no matter your budget. Newer appliances are also constructed to be more ‘user friendly’, and are much quieter, such as dishwashers.
Do you like everything centralized in one small area?
If so, then a range might be the way to go. Ranges come in several cooking combinations and can slide in, or be built into your cabinetry. The main advantage of a range, is that you can get all your cooking done in one spot. This is perfect for smaller kitchens or cooks who don’t want to go from appliance to appliance when cooking a meal. Some ranges also come with a dual-heat capacity - gas for the cooktop and electric for the oven.
If you have a bigger kitchen and can accommodate the kitchen ‘triangle’, you can easily go with a wall oven. Wall ovens are normally around 30 – 44 inches wide and can be as tall as your cabinet top if you choose to go with a double oven/microwave combination.
The most popular types of ovens are conventional and convection. Convection ovens are known for cooking food faster and more evenly due to a fan that circulates the heat within the oven. Conventional ovens radiate heat from the bottom of the oven. Each type has its pros and cons, and should be chosen on the type of cooking you like to do most. Thanks to new technology, some ovens can now be conventional and convection. While they do cost slightly more, it might be worth it for the savvy chef.
Gas or electric?
When redesigning a kitchen, the most asked question is whether to choose a gas or electric cooktop. Some cooks find a gas top produces better food results because they can directly control the amount of heat, while others find an electric ceramic cooktop easier to clean and manage. Gas tops can lose a fair amount of heat from flame to pan, sometimes up to 40%. However, many cooks like the direct flame control, and fast heat. Induction cooktops are making a quick comeback because of their ability to produce a quick heat-up, while also having a smooth surface that loses little heat from burner to pan.
If you like a little extra with your cooktop, there are many available built-in options such as: instant boil, griddle, ventilation, grill, wok and digital touchpads.
Refrigerators have come a long way since their inception. They are by far, the biggest thing in the kitchen so they must perform their duties well, and look great by complementing the rest of the space. You have your choice of several configurations that include:
The use of high-tech technology in refrigerators is becoming popular, with some units offering a digital touchscreen on the door. You can add, time saving apps such as weather, calendar and recipe sites to the screen as well as mirroring your television and syncing with your phone. Coffee lovers have also been taken care of with some units featuring built-in espresso makers.
While a kitchen or bathroom remodel is not a project to take lightly, it does not have to be a budget wrecker, or a constant headache. A well thought out design can certainly pay off, by increasing function and adding value to your home. If you are interested in a possible remodel for your kitchen or bathroom, give us a call for a FREE consultation. Our home improvement experts will work with you to design a highly functional space that will not only be beautiful, but also serve you and your family for years to come.