Light Up Your Kitchen; Light Up Your Life

Lighting sets the tone for a new kitchen. It affects how the room “feels” when you enter and spend time there. In fact, if the kitchen is not properly lit, the entire design can be compromised because your work surfaces, appliances, cabinets, flooring, back splashes, etc. can look drab. As a result, the appearance of your new kitchen will not provide the look you want.

The manner in which light interacts with the form and texture of objects and materials in your kitchen will produce different effects. That’s one reason why light needs to be layered to create a balance and avoid overly bright or dark areas. You can’t layer light relying on a single fixture located in the center of the kitchen ceiling. Layers are created by surrounding the perimeter of your kitchen with recessed lights and employ pendants, suspended lights, chandeliers and fixtures used to perform tasks under cabinets and above the sink and range or cooktop. Accent lights are typically placed in cabinets, drawers or on walls.

Continue reading “Light Up Your Kitchen; Light Up Your Life”

Creating Space: No-Fail Kitchen Organizing Ideas

When you begin thinking about the kitchen of your dreams, one of the best things to do first is inventory everything already in your cabinets, drawers and pantry, on your countertops and elsewhere in the kitchen. It’s a good idea even if you’re not planning to remodel. Consider your cookware, bakeware, kitchen tools, storage containers, cutlery, knives, utensils, gadgets and countertop appliances and estimate frequency of use. Items that you never use should be tossed or donated. Items that you use infrequently or even as little as once a year (the large roasting pan for Thanksgiving turkey) can be relegated to upper cabinets or to other rooms in your home to open up the most accessible places for the utensils and equipment that you use most frequently.

Continue reading “Creating Space: No-Fail Kitchen Organizing Ideas”

Working the Room: What’s Popular in Kitchens Now

Whether it’s a splash of color in the cabinets, a champagne-brass drawer pull or a wall of open shelving, the kitchen ideas homeowners and designers are loving now can elevate everybody’s favorite gathering space to home showpiece status.

Kitchens remain the most popular room for homeowners to renovate, and it’s no wonder why — thanks to the array of popular and practical countertop, cabinet and lighting styles out there, an updated kitchen can make a house feel fresh again in a way other rooms can’t. Here are the kitchen design ideas that pros, homeowners and Houzz photos say are taking off or still going strong.

Trend No. 1: Colorful Cabinets

What the pros say. “Painted cabinets are having a bit of a moment,” says designer and decorator Nancy Harper of Washington, D.C.-based Studio Miel. Harper and other pros agreed that blues and greens are the go-to non-neutral colors of choice now, but Harper says she could see other bold hues — emeralds, darker shades — also take hold soon.

Continue reading “Working the Room: What’s Popular in Kitchens Now”

It’s Never an Open or Shut Case

Open floor plan kitchens have been a hot trend for a number of years, but not all of our clients want or need an open floor plan, opting instead for an enclosed space that better suits their needs, lifestyle and preferences.

Why would anyone want an enclosed kitchen? There are many reasons. One is that you don’t have to worry about the mess when entertaining. There’s no need to wash dishes, pots and pans, put away spices and herbs or make sure that the counters are clutter free. You can spend more time entertaining instead of worrying what the kitchen looks like after preparing a meal.

Continue reading “It’s Never an Open or Shut Case”

The Center of Attention

Whenever we have the opportunity to design a new kitchen, we work to accomplish two main goals for our clients. First, the kitchen must be functionally superior – the workspace must address our client’s needs, preferences, desires and budgets. Depending on the client’s goals, functional requirements that must be considered range from countertop space required for meal preparation to storage requirements for utensils, small appliances, cutlery, plates, cookware, food and everything in between.

Superb functionality is a given. Settle for nothing less. Aesthetics can elevate a kitchen from special to exceptional, and typically we begin developing the look, feel and aura of a new kitchen based on the client’s goals, style and vision. Creative use of materials and attention to details can make a space pop. Great designers create focal points in new kitchens that draw attention and wow. Focal points can be showstoppers and serve to anchor the space. They add interest and set the tone for the rest of the space.

Continue reading “The Center of Attention”

Advantages the New Tax Law Creates for Renovating Your Kitchen or Bath

April 17 is around the corner and we realize that many of our existing and future clients will be submitting their 2017 tax returns. This week we will review the impact of the new 2018 tax law on making improvements to your home.

The amount of tax that Americans pay is based on the amount of income that they earn from their employment, investments and other sources less permitted deductions and tax credits. Tax credits reduce tax liabilities. Common credits include the child tax credit, which doubled to $2,000 per child under 17 with the new tax law and can be taken by single parents who make up to $200,000 and married couples whose income is less than $400,000. A $2,000 tax credit will reduce your tax liability by $2,000 and save you $2,000 in taxes.

Continue reading “Advantages the New Tax Law Creates for Renovating Your Kitchen or Bath”

Latest Kitchen Trends 2018

A recent analysis of kitchen trends by one of the largest manufacturers of kitchen cabinets in North America offers some interesting insights to help you plan your kitchen remodel.

  • 59% of kitchen renovations involve changing the kitchen’s footprint to be more open and to include other rooms in the home.
  • 49% of kitchen remodels increase the kitchen size.
  • Islands continue to be among the most requested feature. The most popular uses of islands are as follows: entertaining, seating and meal preparation

Continue reading “Latest Kitchen Trends 2018”

Have No Doubts When Selecting Grout

Not many of our clients think about grout color when they are selecting a tile. Sometimes when we bring it up the client seems surprised that it’s a decision they even need to be involved in. Sometimes they look panicked like – I thought I was done with tile decisions!
Grout is definitely not as sexy as the tile itself however it can have a dramatic impact on the look and feel of the tile. For example, white subway tile has been a staple for kitchens and is not going away anytime in the foreseeable future. If white tile is paired with white grout, the distinction between the tile and grout disappears creating a look that does not typically catch the eye.

Continue reading “Have No Doubts When Selecting Grout”

The Art of Placing Cabinet Hardware

Cabinet hardware is the jewelry of the kitchen. It’s the finishing touch for cabinetry and can make a unique design statement. Hardware placement should not be an afterthought. We always review the placement with the client and with the installer to assure that the finished product makes our client smile every time they enter the room.

The most common hardware configuration we see these days in transitional kitchens is a handle on the drawers and a knob on the doors. In the more modern kitchens typically we see all handles.


We generally feel that centering handles on the drawers provides the beautiful symmetry that most of our client’s love. We start with the length of the chosen handle and then consider the width of each drawer. As a rule of thumb, if the drawer is 30” wide or more we look at whether two handles is the best option. Sometimes we need to use a mix of handle sizes if there are smaller drawers. For example, if the handle is 8” long and there is a 12” wide cabinet the handle will overwhelm the cabinet and look unattractive. If that’s the case hopefully the handle is offered in a smaller length. If the drawer is 9” wide (typically the smallest standard cabinet width) we usually place the coordinating knob on the drawer instead of the handle.

Continue reading “The Art of Placing Cabinet Hardware”

Project Spotlight: Refreshed Neutral Kitchen

We are sooo excited to be featured on Fireclay Tile’s recent blog posting Project Spotlight: Refreshed Neutral Kitchen! We recently completed a kitchen reno in Quincy for a young couple who wanted a fresh & modern feel for their home and growing family. They were open to color & pattern. They really wanted the space to be fun and have a touch of whimsy. We couldn’t be happier with how everything turned out!

Check out the link below for the full feature…

Reviewing the tile installation & pattern with the tile installer was crucial as each tile is handmade and the Ogee Drop can be positioned in various ways to create different patterns. We opted for the Moroccan pattern to create movement and visual interest for the backsplash. It also creates a nice contrast to the linear, modern styling of the cabinetry & counters.

Continue reading “Project Spotlight: Refreshed Neutral Kitchen”