Cabinet & Countertop Inspirations

Murphy's Law ... "If anything can go wrong, it will" ... was coined at Edwards Air Force Base in 1949.  Its namesake, Captain Edward Murphy, was an engineer working on a project to determine how much sudden deceleration a person can stand in a crash. Upon finding a transducer wired wrong by a technician, he remarked, "If there is any way to do it wrong, he'll find it." The project manager added this to his list of "laws," referring to it as Murphy's Law.

So, how is Murphy's Law connected with remodeling projects?  Like the Air Force project, you can expect to have some aspect of a remodeling project go wrong. This can even include items outside the area being remodeled.

For example, in one of our kitchen remodeling projects, electrical work was required for the relocation of appliances and lighting, and the addition of undercabinet lights. In the process of completing this work, it became apparent that during a previous project in the home, shortcuts were taken with the electrical work. Breakers and wiring were overloaded creating a significant risk of fire. Not a pleasant or inexpensive surprise for the homeowner. As you would expect, the electrical issues were corrected before continuing with the kitchen renovation.

As you get ready for your remodeling project, here are a few "surprises" you should prepare for:

  • Products delivered late, damaged, or with missing parts
  • Incorrect products delivered to the job site
  • Miscommunication
  • More dust than expected
  • Mold/moisture from plumbing leaks
  • Finding termites or carpenter ants
  • Structural issues including insufficient support for load bearing walls
  • Need to remove asbestos or lead paint

Preparing yourself for project surprises will help minimize your stress and frustration when they occur. Including a budget item in your project for contingencies and surprises will allow you to deal with the problem without feeling like your budget is busted.

A kitchen remodeling project represents a significant of your time and money.  At various times in the planning process our clients ask a version of the following question … “What should I expect during the project?”  As most people only undertake one remodeling project in their life, it is filled with uncertainty and unfamiliarity.

To help minimize this uncertainty, it is important to understand what to expect, how long it will take, how it will impact living in your house, and the best ways to maintain a clean, safe home.  We will address various remodeling expectations in this and future blog posts. While we cannot answer every potential question that could arise, we will work to provide information to prepare you for what lies ahead.

As you begin planning your kitchen remodel, remember the following:

  • Keep the end in mind – when the project is complete, you will have a new, beautiful kitchen designed for your family’s needs.
  • The project will not be complete overnight – remodeling a kitchen is a significant project and will take time.
  • Your patience will be tested – over the course of the project, there will be times when there appears to be little progress, you will tire of having people in the house, surprises will happen, etc.  Stay focused on the first bullet point … a beautiful kitchen.
  • Communicate – if anything is unclear or you have questions during the remodeling process, ask your designer/contractor. You have hired them for their expertise and they will gladly respond to your questions and/or concerns.

Watch our blog for more details on what to expect during a kitchen remodel.  We will touch on temporary kitchens, minimizing the mess, packing up your kitchen, and more. If you don’t want to wait, stop in our showroom or call us.  One of our designers would be happy to talk with you.

So, you made the decision to remodel your kitchen. Now you’re wondering what to do did with everything in the existing kitchen. Here are a few tips to help you in the process.

 

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Cabinet Contents – During a kitchen remodel, it is unlikely you will be using the various dishes, serving plates, utensils, and pots/pans as you normally do. Obtain several boxes and packing paper/bubble wrap and pack away all the kitchen items that will not be needed for the duration of the project.  This can be a good time to dispose/donate kitchen items that are no longer needed or used.

Refrigerator – Depending on the scope of the project, the refrigerator may be moving to another location in the house.  Like the cabinets, this creates a great time to clean it out and get rid of any items with strange colors growing on them.

Temporary Kitchen – If you have the space, you might consider setting up a temporary kitchen. This space could include a microwave, coffee pot, paper plates, plastic cups and other items to help make quick, simple meals while the kitchen is out of commission. Set up your temporary kitchen close to a sink to facilitate water access and clean-up. We have seen temporary kitchens put in a spare bedroom, along the side of the family room, or even setting up a refrigerator and microwave outside in the garage.

Minimizing Dust – You will need to prepare for dust in your home.  Your contractor will typically provide temporary plastic “walls” to close off the kitchen, minimizing dust from getting into the rest of the house. You may also consider covering furniture or draperies that are close to the area as dust will inevitably find its way out of the space being remodeled.

Children & Pets – When remodeling a kitchen, there can be a number of potential safety hazards. As much as possible, you want to shut off access to the kitchen for your children and pets. This can include setting up baby/pet gates, moving your kids’ toys, and relocating your pets’ food/water bowls. Talk to your remodeling contractor about any concerns or questions about how to keep both your children and pets safe.

 

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If you have additional questions about remodeling your kitchen, stop in our showroom or give us a call. Our designers would be happy to help you better understand how to make getting a new kitchen go as smooth as possible.

Cabinet Inspirations & Ideas

Universal Design in the Kitchen

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In many areas of life, we tend to think in terms of the here and now. This is often evident in the areas of buying, building, or remodeling a home. We seek out design elements that are representative of our current stage of life. Life, as we know, is fluid and ever changing. Our situation today may not be our situation tomorrow. That is where Universal Design comes in.

Popularized by architect Ronald Mace, Universal Design is the idea of taking a space, then designing it in such a way that it is functional and practical for all age groups, ability levels, and life stages. With Universal Design, you are designing your home so that it not only works for you today, but also in the future. You are planning with tomorrow in mind.

   Universal Design does not need to be clinical or institutional-like in appearance, nor should it be. When implemented correctly, its features will flow smoothly into the overall design of the house, almost to the point of not noticing them. There are a number of areas within the kitchen where you can implement Universal Design and demonstrate that functionality can also be stylish.

Appliances

  • Microwaves built into base drawers below the counter, making them easier to reach.

 

  • A raised dishwasher to prevent bending over, OR a drawer style dishwasher to make loading easier than traditional dishwashers.

 

  • Wheelchair accessible cooktops. Cook with ranges with front or side mounted controls to eliminate reaching over dangerously hot burners. Also, consider having a pot filler installed at the stove to keep from carrying heavy pots of water from the sink.
  • Wall ovens installed at various levels.
  • A refrigerator/freezer with the frozen food compartment in a bottom drawer OR a side by side unit.

Cabinets/Drawers

  • Oversized hardware on doors and drawers which are easier to grab, OR magnetic touch and release cabinet doors.
  • Adjustable height shelves, pull down shelves, and Lazy Susans.
  • Open storage or glass doors, making things easier to locate.
  • More base cabinets with drawers as opposed to doors.

 

Countertops

  • Lowered countertops, two tiered islands, or countertops at various heights, making them accessible to everyone.

  • Easy to clean surfaces such as granite of laminate.

 

Sinks

  • Open space beneath the sink, giving knee clearance for wheelchairs.
  • Single lever or touchless faucets.
  • Variable height sinks between 32” and 40”.

Other ideas in Universal Design include lowering light switches, using slip resistant flooring such as cork or ceramic tile, and widening doorways to 36”.

Universal Design is all about making sure your home will be as perfect for you in the future as it is today. Implementing this concept in your home design or remodeling project will help ensure your kitchen remains both functional and enjoyable whatever the future may hold.  Stop in to The KitchenWright in Carmel, Indiana showroom and let us help in designing an accessible space for you.

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