Farmhouse Sinks Re-gain Popularity

A sink that’s been around for hundreds of years is once again on the rise. In March, we wrote “Farmhouse Sinks — This Time In Color” because we know they add pizzazz to modern kitchens. (Kara, link to 03/30/2016 blog.) Farmhouse sinks originated at a time when there was no running water. Since water had to be carried in from outside the house, the sink was large, deep and close to the body for convenience. Now in a number of sizes, colors and materials, their appearance and function fit today’s active cooks. Old Concept – New Trend The National Kitchen and Bath Association, along with remodelers and interior designers – agree the trend in kitchen design is back to basics. Clean lines, neutral colors and clever storage make farmhouse sinks a natural addition to complete the environment. Their traditional design - deeper than the modern top and under-mount sinks - allows users to stand directly in front of the basin with no countertop or cabinet in between. In the “old days,” it worked well for women who prepared food, washed clothes (sometimes even the baby!) in the sink. Today, cooks love the extra space to clean large pots, big baking sheets, oven trays and large items like barbeque grills. Before You Purchase Consider this before you start shopping: It’s easy to incorporate a farmhouse sink in new construction… but you may have obstacles with remodeling. Unless you’re replacing all the cabinetry around the sink, you’ll probably need to make adjustments. The size and nature of these sinks often require custom cabinetry, plus a different countertop design. Because they’re deeper,...

Sustainable Remodeling

Remodeling is a great option if you are living in an improved housing market. The effort to upgrade over moving feeds makes it economical to stay put longer and customize what you have. It’s why we work with high-quality companies…such as Oakcraft and Timberlake…to install cabinetry our clients can live with long term. Looks and efficiency still motivate changes. What’s under the surface determines ease-of-use and durability. It’s Better Business To Make Cabinets That Last Manufactured woods like particleboard reduce costs. But those savings are lost if they affect indoor air quality. Many manufacturers have removed urea-added formaldehyde to make them NAUF (No Added Urea Formaldehyde) compliant. But it’s possible they use other VOCs or volatile organic compounds that will gas-off over time. Another problem with particle board is that it doesn’t stand the test of time. Its mixture of sawdust and glue is more susceptible to moisture. While that may seem immaterial in a climate like ours, it needs to be factored in for cabinets placed near dishwashers, showers or hold sinks. Manufactured woods don’t hold hardware as well. They’re more likely to strip and chip than wood and plywood that can last 50 years. If you screw a hinge into hardwood, it will stay there until someone comes along to unscrew it. As unlikely as it is for people to live in their homes for 50 years, quality construction increases overall home value and factors into remodeling options. Another way to cut manufacturing costs is to glue and pin or staple drawers and shelve ends together. With a little investment, the better method is dovetail construction where...

Guiding Clients To The Right Hardware For Their Kitchen

  The head-spinning number of decisions needed to model the kitchen makes it the most complex room in the home to design. In “The Kitchen Island“ post, we pose a number of questions to consider before designing what’s often the ‘heart’ of the kitchen. The same goes for choosing hardware. Some may like the look of doors and drawers with no hardware - and think they’re saving money. But over time, especially in active kitchens, oil and dirt from hands can eat away the finish (even when home owners are fastidious about washing their hands!). Narrow down the possibilities by learning how the kitchen will function. When cooking’s a passion, easy-to-grasp hardware that doesn’t snag clothing works best.  This style also applies to older residents and anyone who experiences sore or stiff joints. Knob styles work well in kitchens mostly used as a place to gather or where cooking isn’t a priority. The choices range from minimal design to ‘bling’. Here’s where individual taste really makes a statement. For families with toddlers, drop down handles are a good choice as they’re harder for little ones to operate. Another consideration is how wide drawers are. Hardware that’s too small not only gets lost, but may be inadequate to open the drawer. The accepted rule of thumb is to use two knobs or pulls for drawers 18 inches or wider. The alternative is to use oversized bar pulls. Where To Start Living in a desert doesn’t limit choices to just Southwestern or Contemporary. Different kitchen styles help determine what type and size hardware complement the overall look. But this still leaves a...

Garage Trends

With increased storage rents and bigger recreational vehicles, families require more space for belongings. Once regarded as extra covered space for the sedan and cardboard boxes, the trend in garages is to extend indoor living. In fact, according to Marketplace public radio, two thirds of all garages are not used for cars. Just like kitchens and bathrooms, re-modeled garages not only add efficiency to living space, they add curb-appeal and value to the home overall. Forget the particle board of big-box stores and tools hung on pegboard hooks. There’s no reason why your garage cabinets can’t be as elegant as your kitchen or bathroom. The Revolution in Garage Renovation Traditionally, if the garage was used for more than parking the car, it was a workbench for the home handyman or gardener. For the last couple of years, use of the garage has expanded and it’s gaining momentum. These days the garage may be the game room, used for a bar or pub, or a space to display collectables. Another popular trend is to make it the place where teens can have friends over and still have their privacy (and you can keep yours!). Finally, extending your living space into the garage is an expedient way to grow your space without having to move to larger home. Here’s some ideas on how to transform the room. Custom garage cabinetry does more than just beautify the garage. Well-fitted cabinetry protects belongings by keeping out dust and pests and comes in numerous sizes and styles. Customize your cabinets with clothing bars and cedar inside to preserve clothing. Use organized drawers for odds...
Use Your Space in Large Kitchens Wisely

Use Your Space in Large Kitchens Wisely

You have all the square footage you could ever desire for your dream kitchen. Now What? Be careful at this point to find a qualified kitchen designer. It would be a shame to find your new kitchen just cabinets and countertops. Let’s get some design flair and excitement in your home’s hub. Not only do we want to customize the cabinetry to your wants and needs, we want to make your statement heard as your visitors view your masterpiece. A WOW factor that will catch that coveted ‘gasp’ of excitement each time your visitors return. Lets get serious, the contented joy you will feel each time you walk into your kitchen is your end desire. It’s your domain, so make it yours.   Good Design is a Great Place to Start in Your Kitchen Even though money might not be an issue, it is best practice to set an investment range to stay within. In a remodel there are many elements to consider. Adding or removing walls can be considered. Are you going to completely alter the existing kitchen space or leave your major components such as appliances in place? In new construction it is always best to design your cabinetry needs prior to walls. In this way we can tell your builder precisely where you need the walls going up. .     Bells and Whistles There is so much fun looking at and specifying all the accessories, cabinetry and countertops. What is important to each person varies as the shape of snowflakes vary. Start early with your lists. Are you baking a lot and need an oven with convection? Hate pre-washing your dishes and want a highly efficient dishwasher? You might choose a three bowl sink in your cleanup area. Prep...
Savvy and Smart Strategies!

Savvy and Smart Strategies!

Wise up! Savvy and Smart Strategies for an Arizona Home Remodel According to the Home Improvement Research Institute, homeowners spend more money on kitchen remodeling than on any other home improvement project, with good reason. Kitchens are the very center of home life, and a source of pride when it comes to the subject of a successful past remodeling project. A liberal amount of kitchen remodeling cost may be recovered by the intrinsic value that the project brings to your home. Kitchen remodel projects in the $50,000 to $60,000 range regain about 69% of the initial project cost at the home’s resale, according to recent data from Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report. To ensure that you maximize the eventual return of investment from your Arizona kitchen remodel, follow these smart kitchen remodeling strategies. Establish priorities We recommend spending a considerable amount of time planning your kitchen remodeling project. That way, you won’t be tempted to change your mind during construction, change orders, and haplessly inflate construction costs. Here are some points of note to cover: Cooking traffic patterns: A walkway through the kitchen should be at least three feet wide. Aisles should be a minimum of about 3.5 to 4 feet wide and at least 4 feet wide for households with multiple cooks. Child safety: Avoid square corners on countertops, and make sure microwave ovens are installed at a proper height, which is three inches below the shoulder of the primary user but not more than 54 inches from the floor. Outside access: If you want easy access to entertaining areas, such as a deck or patio, factor...