Cabinet & Countertop Inspirations

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.

The cabinets in your kitchen and bathroom have a difficult life. Constantly being opened & closed, residing in an environment with water & moisture, and being run into by people, vacuums, pets, and any number of household items. Given this wear and tear, your cabinets are very likely to be inadvertently scratched. How do you touch-up your cabinets to make those little mishaps disappear?


Most new cabinets come with a Touch-up Kit. These typically include a fill stick and a touch-up marker. If you do not have a kit, or it has wandered off over the years, you can purchase one from your cabinet dealer. Hardware stores also carry these touch-up markers and fill sticks, however, the color match will not be as close as the one from the cabinet manufacturer.




Fill Stick

Think of the fill stick as a big crayon. It is used to fill in bigger scratched or indentations in the cabinetry. This includes nail holes, gouges, cuts or deep scratches. Simply apply pressure to the fill stick to completely fill the scratch. There will be excess around the damaged area. Gently use an old credit card to smooth and match the surface. Finally, wipe off the area with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth.


Touch-up Marker

The touch-up marker is used on spots where the finish is damaged and raw wood is seen. This includes scratches, joints where two pieces of wood/molding meet, areas with excessive wear, or the edge of a piece of cabinetry. Before starting, most markers need to be shaken to eliminate settling of the colors. Once shaken, take and run the marker over the damaged area. It will likely take more than one coat to cover the damage. Wipe any excess off using a clean, dry, lint-free cloth. Recap the pen to prevent it from drying out.

As discussed in a previous blog, remodeling a kitchen can be expensive. One alternative is refacing cabinets instead of replacing them. Refacing cabinets can be a viable option, however, there are situations in which refacing cabinets does not makes sense. Let’s look at what refacing is and the advantages/disadvantages of this option.

With cabinet refacing, the existing cabinet doors and drawer fronts are removed and replaced with new doors/drawer fronts. The exposed face frames and cabinet ends are covered with material to match the new doors/drawer fronts. New molding is installed to cover any raw edges or exposed areas. Typically, the new finish is painted or stained wood.



The key advantages of cabinet refacing are:

  • Cost – Typically, refacing cabinets will cost less than complete replacement. That said, the difference versus replacing cabinets may not be significant as it involves replacing the most expensive part of the cabinet … the door and drawer front.
  • Time – Refacing cabinets will take less time than removing and replacing cabinets. Most refacing projects take around one week, while replacing cabinets typically takes four weeks.
  • Cleaner – There will usually be less mess/dust with refacing.
  • Convenience – During the cabinet refacing, you will still be able to use your kitchen in the evening.


Disadvantages of refacing cabinets include:

  • Poor kitchen layout – Many remodeling projects are undertaken to improve the functionality or layout of your kitchen. Refacing cabinets will not solve this problem.
  • Tired cabinets – In many cases, the existing cabinets are tired … sagging shelves, falling apart. Refacing will not fix worn out cabinets.
  • Structural issues – There may be structural issues in the home, including floors that have settled, causing problems with the cabinets. Refacing cabinets will not correct these structural issues.
  • Cabinet accessories – Today, there are a growing number of wonderful cabinet accessories to improve the storage, functionality, and design of kitchens and bathrooms. In a refacing project, you will likely be limited in the ability to incorporate these accessories into the existing layout/design.

Refacing cabinets is a good option for some kitchens, however, if any of the above issues exist, examine all the options before making your final decision.

Cabinet Inspirations & Ideas

What is Universal Design and How Does It Impact Bathroom Design?

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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 bathroom where you can implement Universal Design and demonstrate that functionality can also be stylish.

Here are some of the ways to bring this design concept into your home’s bathroom.

  • Open space is ideal as it allows for greater mobility. For example, you need 5 feet of open space for a wheelchair to make a 180 degree turn. Obviously, not every bathroom will be able to accommodate this, but the idea is the more available open space, the better.

         

  • Wall mounted sinks or floating sinks are both attractive and stylish while also providing needful open space underneath.
  • Taller toilets, ranging in height from 16-18 inches, can be much more accommodating than those in a standard size. Look for the option of a “no slam” lid when available.
  • In terms of the shower, there are a number of ideas to keep in mind. For starters, a curbless shower, which has no rim or lip on the floor, is an excellent option as it removes what could be a potential tripping hazardInstalling both a shower bench and a hand held shower head will make the shower usable for all age demographics while also providing elements of safety and convenience. 

         

  • Grab bars are excellent safety features for all ages, yet they have the reputation of looking unattractive and institutional-like in appearance. Today’s grab bars come in a variety of designer styles, allowing them to integrate seamlessly into your bathroom décor.
  • When choosing faucets or controls, consider single lever style. They are the easiest for all hand sizes and strengths to operate. This is also true when choosing door handles.

  • Slip resistant tile is a must in a bathroom with universal design. An appropriate choice would be either a non-glossy ceramic tile or a unique mosaic. The more grout lines you can add, the safer your floor will be as they will provide more texture and better grip when wet.

Working with a knowledgeable designer will help create bathroom space that will be both beautiful and functional for years to come. Please give The KitchenWright a call if you would like to learn more about Universal Design.

 

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