Friday, August 28, 2015

Endless Possibilities

There really are endless possibilities to make your space more functional than ever before in Kitchen and Bath Design. In fact it is a little like being in a candy store trying to get your control back since you just cannot have it all!

Since storage is always an issue for all of us I want to begin with food storage or pantry cabinets. Sometimes a home has the square footage to dedicate an entire "walk in space " with shelves for everything you can possibly need. It is more likely not the case, so creative thinking helps. The second choice has been Tall floor to ceiling cabinets for years. They work very well and are offered from 84" to 96" high . However, food can get pushed back becoming hard to see in a 24 deep dark cabinet. It is possible to request they be more shallow, however , the best solution is Roll Out Shelves. You will love the convenience of pulling out the shelf to access every item stored on it.
Some even have added door storage with guarded shelves similar to your refrigerator's door shelves.

Do you like the drama of tall columns? How about a beautiful focal point in your kitchen composed of one of the 30 to 36" wide Pots and Pans Drawer.
Pull Out Cabinet Storage For Pots and Pans With Ledge Above For Lids
Picture it framed with two tall Pull Out Pantry Cabinets which range in width from nine to twenty four inches?
Tall Pantry Provides Multi Shelf Pantry Storage.

A stunning back splash between the Pots and Pan Drawers and a wall cabinet of the same width above is equivalent to jewelry setting off your best outfit! We gals LOVE that! The wall cabinet above could be used as more storage with solid doors. You might get a thrill making it stand out with glass doors revealing a matching stained interior with lighting that displays your favorite dishes and glassware or special mementos.

Let's not forget spices! They really are the "Spice of Life" as we create our favorite meals for family and friends. Pull Out Pantry cabinets are also manufactured as base and wall cabinets. It can be as simple as adding a Drawer Spice Rack internally of one of your base cabinet drawers near your cooking area.
Spice Drawer Storage                   Vertical Pull-Out Spice Rack    
Other excellent choices are a Drawer Knife Holder or Two Tier Wood Cutlery Tray.
The latter has space for knives in the bottom with a second top tray to hold spatulas, wooden spoons, and any other kitchen tools you want.
The slotted knife holder can be hidden below a two-tier cutlery tray for maximum drawer use         Two-Tier Wood Cutlery Tray

One of my favorite cabinets, especially in our quaint New England homes are Apothecary Drawer Cabinets. I love them. They seem impractical. However, allowing myself to say yes taught me they are actually very practical. They are typically six inches wide. That width next to the cooking or sink area allows you to store so many necessary items in a very organized way. Each cabinet has five drawers. Mixing and cooking utensils fit perfectly. One of my favorite uses next to the sink is for prescription medications, vitamins, or tea in boxes. It really is so convenient!

Another option for the wine connoisseur are Base, Wall, or Tall wine racks which are available in six inches for single bottles to eighteen inches wide for double or triple bottle storage.
The "X" Wine Rack To Store Reds & Whites         Vertical or Horizontal Wine Rack Cabinets  

Beverage Center With Espresso Machine, Bottled Water, Coffee All In One Space                          The "X" Wine Rack Built Into A Kitchen Island

Let your self dream unedited. Take a look at these pictures.  Write down your ideas and questions. There are no wrong questions, so come see us and tell us your vision. Next week I am going to take this to an even higher level with one of the most stunning trends utilizing wall and base Pull Out Pantry cabinets combined with a matching wooden hood cabinet over your stove or cooktop! Sheer drama and efficiency all rolled into one!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Making Life Easier in Your Kitchen

We live in an age devoted to convenience, organization, and every possible way to save us time.
If your current kitchen has been in your home for longer than fifteen years, there are numerous options, accessories, and newly designed cabinets available to make your time in the kitchen so much more efficient.

There are some exceptions to my statement above. For instance, a Lazy Susan inside base and wall corner cabinets have been available for longer than fifteen years. However, the quality and smoother functionality has improved dramatically. Better cabinet lines mount quality wood revolving shelves right on a wood shelf base. Years ago, a Lazy Susan was either composed of metal or plastic shelves spaced on a center pole and installed into the top and bottom of the cabinet. Upgraded units like the old ones are still available as interior accessories after the fact. However, the new wooden rotating Susans are deeper and wider providing more storage space than ever.
Turntable Shelves in a Corner Kitchen Cabinet
Pots and pans used to be stored in the bottom drawer of a stove or even worse in the "blind corner cabinet" next to the stove's location. This cabinet becomes a big black hole swallowing anything unlucky enough to be stored there. You have to be a contortionist to access needed items or call for one of your smaller kids to crawl in to retrieve it. The good news, those days are over too. We have been rescued by numerous options. New corner cabinets have special shelving units that can be pulled out in front of their door allowing a shelf deeper in the cabinet to slide forward. No space is lost and accessing anything you need is at your fingertips.
Swing Out Wire Baskets In A Corner Storage Cabinet               Kitchen corner cabinet shelves pivot and pull out for complete access to items.

My favorite pots and pan cabinet is a 3 Drawer Base Cabinet. These cabinets are available in widths from twelve inches up to thirty six, maybe even into forty inch units. Twenty four to thirty six 3 Drawer Bases are most popular for this application. The two deep bottom drawers will hold all your pots and pans other than truly deep stock pots. The shallow top drawer is perfect for pot holders, spatulas, spoons, ladles, and pancake turners. Anything you need to cook on your stove fits perfectly in this cabinet. If you prefer a cook top rather than a stove, the shallow top drawer can serve as the mounting area for the cook or range top.

Some people like to add wooden internal accessories to these three drawer bases to separate their knives, spices, and cooking utensils. You can also add special holders to secure plates in the drawers.

Drawer Plate Rack Stores Plates Vertically   Dish Storage Drawer Below The Cabinet For Stacks Of Plates and Bowls                                      Deluxe Drawer Organizer
Recycling is the norm now. Most of us have never liked having the trash can visible in our kitchen even though it had to be. New cabinet design includes cabinets designed to pull out with your trash can installed inside. Very popular are the combo trash and recycle cabinets. Generally a eighteen inch cabinet is average. However, if space is at a premium, a fifteen inch one with one barrel would suffice.

Pull-Out Double Bin Cabinet for Trash and Recycling  
Next week I will continue telling you even more goodies that you can add to make life simpler. have a wonderful week. Come see us in the showroom. We can show you many of them right here.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Compromise: Resolving Typical Conflicts in the Remodeling Process

I realize I am sailing into a tricky area with this post. Here goes!

You may not realize that your typical Kitchen/Bath Designer/Sales Person has to employ many skills the average sales professional does not need. What am I talking about?  Intuitive and emotional intelligence is just as important as the creative, computer design expertise, strong math ability assumed to be the qualifications for the position. I have found myself  in the position of being a conflict resolution professional working with couples as they make decisions.
Every couple that visits a show room represents two people with different opinions about what is needed in their new project. They are usually not agreed on cabinet styles and finishes either.
My experience supports the following opinions ( generally speaking):

1. Men and women  prefer different door styles and finishes.
2. This extends into other selections and details for their new project
3. One or the other needs to compromise a little more than the other

Living and functioning in your kitchen over the years gives you plenty of time to experience what you like about the current space. It also magnifies what you do not like and want to change.

Usually, the chef of the family is the first one to want a new kitchen. Function is critical for a sense of peace and happiness in your kitchen. The more hands on the cook/chef is, the more true this fact is.
The family is being fed and nurtured as they connect to enjoy the great meals prepared by Chef Mom or Dad. Not always but many times, this person holds the trump card for obvious reasons.

Months ago, I blogged about starting your " Design Vision Folder ". This blog post is going to remind you of that and explain why it is important. Let's face it, this new space is important to the entire family. Many events and memories will take place in this heart of the home for years to come.
That said, I think it is wise for both of you to share your preferences and opinions. Looking through magazines, watching HGTV and taking notes about what you like is a good idea too. Approach it as a fun creative adventure. Do not edit your favorites at first. Clip away and stuff that folder. Make notes about what you like and why you selected a particular picture. Trust me , if you don't, you will not remember! Set up some "Dream Dates" when you look at each other's clippings. Share what you like, why, and how it will help make the space more functional and beautiful. As you share, you will begin to understand each others tastes and preferences. You may be surprised to find yourself won over by a great idea you had not considered!

Based on experience, let me guess the female loves sophisticated painted cabinets with glaze, or a fine grain wood species like maple or cherry also glazed. Lots of interior accessories are a necessity to keep the kitchen drawers organized.

The male either loves very sleek contemporary lines or  loves texture. He may gravitate to the Metro City Slab Door style. Perhaps in stainless steel or sleek laminated high gloss finishes of bright colors.
If his taste is for wood cabinets, I would bet money his choice will be highly textured wood species, like oak, hickory, or bird's eye maple. The more pronounced the grain in the natural wood the better!

Lots of color in the wood grain just adds to the drama. as he imagines his fresh caught fish or wild game being prepared deliciously fills the house with mouthwatering cooking aromas! She loves the counter back splash coordinated but stepped up a little to contrast similar to sparkling jewelry she would wear with a special outfit. He prefers more wood or very textured granite accented with a neutral stone back splash.  

Fortunately, a more recent trend bridges some of these differences in preferences. Since kitchen islands replaced peninsula u-shaped kitchen plans, two finishes in one room have become quite common. This can be perfect for the couple who realize making both of them happy is a great idea.
Selecting a cabinet door style with stained wood blends excellently with an island constructed of
a beautiful painted with or without glaze. It can also be vice versa. Adding the contrasting island finish to the crown molding, light rail,and perhaps one featured cabinet carefully placed as a focal point in the room accomplishes a perfect compromise. Another idea is to design the base cabinets in wood stain and the wall cabinets above in a painted finish. There are always creative solutions we are happy to help you discover.

Guys, as to her desire for the internal accessories. They really are a great idea. They speed the cooking and cleaning process up. Function , after all is the key ingredient in a kitchen. Get ready to enjoy some awesome meals!