Free-standing ranges are most popularly characterized by a metal backsplash rising up along the back of the unit, usually with the controls mounted on it. A few years ago, however, GE revealed a free-standing range that – revolutionarily – had no backsplash and moved the controls to the front. What still defined the unit as free-standing, however, is the square edges all around the unit: the range gets pushed all the way back to the wall and has nothing to protect or cover the gaps (small though they may be) on the left and right side of the range, where it meets the cabinetry and countertop.
Residential design is a complex microcosm layered in details, specifications, and multi-disciplinary coordination. The end product is overwhelmingly familiar and prevalent across society, yet the understanding of the world behind the “façade” is largely unrealized. The intimate world of residential is interesting to examine because of the dynamic between design and user. Over the
decades, we’ve seen the shape, flow, and purposes throughout the home transform – and this transformation has largely been driven by the inhabitants, rather than the design industry. The kitchen, once regarded as no more than a service space, is now the social heart of the home and open to most of the first floor in any new design. Master bathrooms, similarly, have evolved into spacious, relaxing spa retreats. Now, there’s a new space that is taking homes by storm: move that inefficient closet over, the mudroom has made its big debut.
Once the ugly ducklings of the home, mudrooms have gained considerable popularity recently within home renovations. We are all a familiar with the stunning impression of a grand, sweeping foyer, but attention is now turning to the “real” entrance to the home: the one occupied by muddy children and boots and backpacks, often attached to the garage for convenient egress. Families are finding more and more of a need for dedicated, designed storage and organization systems in this constantly utilized room. And why not? Homeowners are getting tired of their “actual” main entrance being a constant pile of coats, hats, and school accessories, while the “guest” entrance remains stately and pristine. You and your family are just as deserving of beauty as your guests are!
Effective and stylish, a well-designed mudroom can transform your day-to-day activities and the enter/exit organization of your home. Picture this: school backpacks hung on hooks in a row on the wall, bench-seat storage lined up next to the door – so you can both store and put on your shoes – and shelves, cubbies, or reach-in closets to accommodate your every storage need coming and going. Combine it with a built-in laundry space, and you maximize the design potential for a single, well designed room to suit the biggest utilitarian functions in your home. These dreamy visions have become some of the most popular add-ons to our kitchen renovation projects because they allow homeowners the best of both function and form in a small but constantly used space. You, the user, have informed the up-and-coming design movement of the mudroom – so let it return the favor and transform you and your home!
Dishwashers in pairs, microwaves in drawers – sometimes it’s like we’re living through the looking glass! There is no longer just one, single option for what to do with your appliances in the kitchen. Join us for the final part of this three-part series: the wet and wonderful world of dishwashers!
Dishwasher Drawers: Ideal for small families or a wet bar area for entertainers, dishwasher drawers are split vertically into two separately operating drawers within the standard dimensions of a regular dishwasher. The great advantage: you can have one small load running at the time!
Compact Dishwashers: Do you have a condo or just live by yourself? Standard dishwashers are 24″ wide, but 18″ wide dishwashers are also available!
Double Dishwashers: For families and entertainers alike, having two dishwashers in one kitchen can be a dream come true. Rather than piling the sink sky-high in the middle of a party – or the middle of the busy work week – while you wait a few hours for the current load to finish washing, just load up your #2!
Ovens on walls, dishwashers in pairs – sometimes it’s like we’re living through the looking glass! There is no longer just one, single option for what to do with your appliances in the kitchen. Join us for part two of this three-part series: in this post, we explore oven options!
Ovens have long been associated with stove tops: you cook on the top and you bake on the bottom. This is known as a range, to have these two appliances combined into one. But today, there are multiple options that deviate from this long-established norm!
Wall Ovens: The primary disadvantage, especially for aging-in-place designing, is having an oven that is low to the ground and can only be accessed by bending far over. Wall ovens alleviate this issue by elevating the oven to a much higher, more accessible position!
Base Ovens: If you like having a base oven but don’t like the look of a combined range appliance, a sleeker option could be a cooktop with a separate base oven. Depending on the size of your kitchen, the base oven could be immediately below your cooktop – giving the same functionality of a range, but no break in the countertop or cabinetry lines – or elsewhere in the kitchen.
Double Ovens: Why settle for only one oven in your space? There are a variety of options for double oven solutions. You can have two full-sized wall ovens, stacked at a convenient height. Or, you could have a range (with the ovens built in below) that stack a full-sized oven and a smaller oven, which is perfect for cookies and casseroles without losing your Thanksgiving turkey cook space. Or, you could do a standard oven and pair it with a Convection microwave, which cooks just like a regular microwave but also can bake just like a small convection oven.
Microwaves in drawers, ovens on walls – sometimes it’s like we’re living through the looking glass! There is no longer just one, single option for what to do with your appliances in the kitchen. Join us for part one of this three-part series.
In this post, we’ll cover…microwaves!
Microwaves were easily one of the appliances that revolutionized the home-food industry. Still today, microwaveable dinners thrive in the market and are even becoming gourmet in their options. So what’s the best way to incorporate a microwave in your kitchen?
Over The Range: In smaller kitchens where space is at a premium, this is an extraordinarily popular option. Microwaves designed to be over the range act as two appliances in one: your microwave and your vent!
The Shelf: Microwaves on shelves have been a hugely popular option for their flexibility. It is typically very easy to replace microwaves that simply sit on top of a shelf – the uninstallation and reinstallation is simple, provided you have an outlet in the back of the shelf. This is the “updated” alternative to having a microwave on top of the countertop. It’s the same model microwave, but now designed into a shelf (wall cabinet shelf OR base cabinet shelf!) frees up the ever-valuable countertop prep-space.
Built-In Wall Microwave: Often seen above/in conjunction with wall ovens, wall microwaves are one of the most popular built-in options. This keeps the microwave high and maximizes the tall space usually desired for a wall oven. Built-in wall microwaves use trim kits to overlay the edges of the cabinetry cut-outs, and usually are hinged on the bottom, to open like a mini oven (instead of being hinged on the side to open like a standard door). However, there are models of built-in wall microwaves that have the side-hinged operation if that’s what you prefer!
Microwave Drawers: This is an innovative way to think about the microwave appliances. Instead of reaching up and HOPING that microwaved soup or cup of coffee won’t spill over when you lift it down, you are now looking down at your “microwavables” from the top when you open the drawer. Ergonomically, this is often preferred to reaching up high to lift hot things down – now you can reach down, as though into a normal drawer, and lift foods up to the countertop. Microwave drawers do not have a rotating turntable, which is possibly why, despite being on the market for decades, they haven’t gained great attention.
All images sourced from Google.com
Accenting a kitchen with glass cabinetry is a nice way of breaking up long walls full of cabinetry. It can also be a nice way to lighten the look overall, relating the glass in the door of the cabinet to the glass window above your sink, or next to your breakfast table.
The standard glass finish is clear – plain and simple – but there are a wide variety of upgrades available if you’re feeling more adventurous, antique, modern, or stylish – or, if you’re just feeling like not maintaining picture-perfect interior cabinet storage all the time!
Stop by our showroom today to see and feel numerous different styles, thicknesses, and textures of glass for both your kitchen and bathroom!
One of the first questions we ask our clients is how long they intend to live in the home we’re renovating. This is usually a short question: typical responses include just another few years, 5 – 10 years/until the kids are out of school, or – and with gusto – “they’ll be carrying us out feet first!”
There is a wide array of reasons homeowners remodel, but one thing is consistent: resale is always a factor. Even if this is your forever home, resale is still on the list – it just becomes a very low priority. Knowing how long you plan on being in your house helps us, as designers, figure out at what priority resale is for you.
If you’re planning on selling in the next couple of years, it’s likely your remodel is specifically – if not entirely – for resale purposes. They do say the kitchen sells the home! So you may feel it’s finally time to change the cabinets and/or upgrade the countertops. We help guide you to decisions that are in keeping with what’s popular with other remodeling homeowners, so you aren’t making selections that are outrageous or out of line with the average prospective homeowner’s preferences in the area. Though we’re confident you’ll love it, too, in the “short-term to sell” circumstance, you are remodeling for prospective buyers, not yourself (even though you may LOVE that chartreuse backsplash accent tile!).
If you aren’t planning on moving out of your house anytime soon, we will still guide you and let you know if you’re making decisions that aren’t typical for the area. We have some clients who just can’t live without that vivacious, bold tiling or are very modern in an ultra-traditional area – or maybe you’re taller (or shorter!) than average and want your countertop height adjusted accordingly. As long as resale isn’t a priority for you, we encourage incorporating customizations! This is YOUR kitchen, after all, and we want you to thrive in, smile, and enjoy your new custom built space!
It’s important to identify early on in the process for whom you are remodeling – yourself or a future buyer. No matter what, we will guide you to a beautiful new design!
There are plenty of television shows and websites and magazines flaunting the “latest and greatest” in style trends. Everyone wants to tell you how to be “in” on the latest styles and how to look the most current in your own home. But there is a fine line between a space that’s “updated” and a space that’s “trendy.”
We love contemporary and modern, but “trendy” can be dangerous territory. Keep in mind that mauve toilets and robin’s egg blue refrigerators were once the “in” look…what do you think when you see them in a home now??
If you are investing any sum – but especially a large sum – of money into your newly designed space, you want it to last. You don’t want to walk into your kitchen ten years down the road and think, “I really need to get this redone…again.”
We design our kitchens so that they outlast the test of time. Whether your style is modern or traditional, having classic (not to be confused with “classical,” though) elements, quality materials, and a well-trained design professional will keep you in a timeless direction, instead of the “here today, gone tomorrow” undertow of trends.
Imagine dancing in the spaciousness of your new kitchen, whipping up delectable meals on your new-found acres of prepspace, having an organizing “spot” for all of those kitchen necessities instead of jumbled piles… It sounds like a dream come true!
But to get to that dream state, you first need to face the reality of the remodel process. Quality workmanship takes time, and that’s time when your kitchen will be under construction: you likely won’t be able to use your stove, kitchen sink, dishwasher etc. This is often a big transition for homeowners, especially those who enjoy cooking! But fear not, there are many preparations you can make to ready yourself for a home without a kitchen during the construction phase.
FIRE UP THE GRILL
While your indoor kitchen is temporarily out of commission, turning to your outdoor kitchen can be a great option. Barbecuing is a long-standing American tradition, so why not take full advantage and take to the grill?
Beyond the standard hot dogs and hamburgers, grilling can be a great option for vegetables, red meat, chicken, fish – even fruits and desserts. You can foil-wrap foods or put them straight over the flame. There are so many options and recipes for deliciously grilled food, this can be a great time to exercise your skills or learn a few new ones!
Casseroles and various other dishes (like soups!) can take very nicely to your freezer. Consider making meals before the demolition/construction starts and freezing them to then reheat throughout the renovation, if you have a countertop microwave or hot plate. Just be sure the dishes you use are microwave-safe or safe to transition between the freezer and your hotplate!
An ever-popular and convenient option, going out to eat at local restaurants can be a great way to take a break from the construction zone. Whether you have favorite restaurants, spots you’ve been meaning to try, or just want to go out and explore the local foodie culture, there are usually plenty of options for dining out.
Know of a local friend, family member, or neighbor planning a remodel in the near future? Plan a meal exchange with them! You can host them for any number of meals of your choosing during their renovation, and they can return the favor while you’re under construction. It’s a wonderful way to spend time with people you care about!
Are there “date night” cooking classes offered in your area – you get to learn a new meal and eat it at the end! How about pre-packaged foods that can be microwaved on demand? We’ve heard lots of ideas over the years for how best to eat during a remodel. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
Image source: Google.com