Top 6 Kitchen Design Ideas

In today’s world, your kitchen is the heart of your home. This means you must plan carefully to make sure your kitchen is both conveniently functional and stunningly beautiful. Check out these kitchen design ideas to get inspired!

1. Prioritize Function

Before you get started on completely redesigning your kitchen, make sure you’re putting function first. While having a gorgeous kitchen is important, it needs to be a place you, your family, and your guests can easily navigate. Most importantly, plan your design so you’ll be able to easily move between the fridge, sink, and stove top.

2. Enhance the Surface Space

You can’t ever have too much counter space. Redesign your kitchen with that in mind. Also, choose a surface that’s both visually appealing and easy to use and maintain. However, be aware of the limitations and drawbacks of each counter material. For example, stainless steel may be sleek and easy to clean, but it will accumulate scratches easily. You may love the look of tiles but remember that maintaining the grout can be difficult.

3. Increase Your Storage

The biggest mistake when planning your kitchen is not making sufficient room for storage. Take advantage of all the nooks and crannies in your kitchen. For instance, instead of leaving a dust-collecting gap between your cabinets and the ceiling, put additional overhead cabinets. Consider putting deep drawers that provide easy access to your pots and pans.

4. Design Wide Walkways

Ideally, your paths in your kitchen should be at least 3 feet wide. If you’re going for a larger configuration to accommodate multiple cooks, then they should be 4 feet. When preparing your walkways, adjust your kitchen island designs accordingly.

5. Get Fresh Appliances

You may want to save money by reusing old appliances, but we caution you if they look clearly outdated. You don’t want a sore thumb sticking out in what is otherwise a beautiful kitchen. Get brand new appliances and offset the costs by finding other ways to reduce expenses. For example, you don’t need to spend $100 on drawer handles when traditional kitchen hardware ideas cost less.

6. Don’t Forget the Floor

When you look at a kitchen design photo gallery like this one, you’ll see a lot of cabinets and islands. However, don’t neglect the flooring in your planning process. Consider maintenance, slip-resistance, and porosity. You may love the look of hardwood floors, but they can be slippery and prone to wear & tear near appliances. Hard stone may be a good way to go. Houzz is a great website for kitchen design ideas that won’t break the bank.

7 Bathroom Renovation Ideas for Smaller Bathrooms

Many homeowners have a thousand bathroom renovation ideas for the master bath, but when it comes to the half-bath on the first floor, ideas are often harder to come by. The space is typically small, with limited room in which to get creative. Because of this, homeowners often neglect the little bathroom.

A little thinking outside the box (or outside the bathroom) can shake things up. Here are seven small bathroom design ideas that will get those renovation ideas flowing.

  1. Forget Everything You Know

Many homeowners feel stuck with a small bathroom, unsure how to create a more inviting space. The trick might be to throw out the rulebook. Rather than think of the bathroom as a smaller version of what’s upstairs, homeowners should consider bold colors and wild patterns when designing. A little bit of whimsy can go a long way.

  1. Break the Budget a Little

Make the bathroom a destination for visitors by using more expensive materials, like marble tile or crystal wall sconces. Since the space is small, splurging a bit shouldn’t break the budget. At least not by much.

  1. Take Time to Design Smart Storage Spaces

One way to give a small bathroom the illusion of extra space is to use storage space strategically. Built-in shelving for bathroom necessities will keep the floor clear. A floating vanity, which attaches to the wall and forgoes feet, will give the perception of empty space.

  1. Add a Splash of Color

While a white color scheme suggests clean space, painting with bold, bright colors can create an exciting experience for guests. A green palette in a windowless room can emulate foliage, for example.

  1. Choose Luxurious Materials

If the half-bath includes a shower, consider a floor-to-ceiling glass enclosure. Not only does the glass reflect light and suggest luxury, but because it is see-through, it will make the room appear larger than it is. Equip it with an oversized showerhead and guests may line up outside.

  1. Consider the Renovation a Challenge

If the bathroom budget is small and will only allow for a few items from the kitchen and bath showroom, consider tackling some of the project on your own. Paneled wallpaper and decorative molding is an easy way to create the look of more expensive wood paneling and a chair rail.

  1. Make a New (Floor) Plan

If possible, consider rearranging fixtures to give the bathroom a new look and feel. Consult a professional bathroom designer in NJ to see how difficult it might be to move a toilet or flip a shower. Here are a few more bathroom renovation ideas that may inspire you.

5 Kitchen Design Styles to Consider

Take a look at your kitchen. Does it truly encapsulate who you are as an individual or is it merely a space where you go to cook? When you are consider remodeling your home, the kitchen if often a focal point for many homeowners when entertaining family and friends.Therefore this space should represent your personality from a color and décor perspective.

1. Rustic

Rather than using marble for kitchen countertops, ceramics for flooring and nickel for cabinetry hardware, rustic kitchens typically utilize brick, stone and timber as primary materials. The appliances tend to be more vintage. Many rustic kitchens are equipped with a fireplace, allowing you to stay warm and cozy as you prepare delicious meals and entertain guests.

2. Cottage

Cottage kitchens are often designed to be unpretentious and are great if you want to infuse some life into the room. Open shelving and hardwood flooring are common components of this style. Soft colors, such as yellow and turquoise, help make the space feel airy and light.

3. Mediterranean

The goal of Mediterranean kitchens is to make you feel as though you are in an Italian, Greek or coastal French setting. Rich, warm colors, such as ocean blue, terra cotta and deep reds, are great to incorporate into this type of kitchen. The tiles you install on the floor or backsplash should be more rustic than the patterns you typically find in traditional kitchens. Texture is the name of the game with this styling, making the room truly pop when you turn the corner and see it.

4. Eclectic

With so many kitchen design ideas out there, you may feel tempted to throw everything out the window and opt for something more unusual in style. Eclectic kitchens are perfect for rebels who cannot be pinned down with any label. Eclectic kitchens generally take aspects of other styles, including modern, industrial and French country, into something wholly unique. With an artist’s touch, all these different aspects can come together to complement one another beautifully rather than clash aesthetically.

5. Craftsman

Craftsman kitchens are all about simplicity. They first rose into popularity as a reaction to mass-produced Victorian kitchens, and the Craftsman style sought to bring practicality and simplicity in Americans’ kitchens. Built-in seating and simple lighting make the room easy to navigate. These types of kitchens usually emphasize natural beauty, so rich woods make your kitchen feel lustrous and warm.

If you are on the fence about what you like most, then get in touch with an experienced kitchen designer in North Jersey. A professional can show you numerous kitchen design photos, so you get a few kitchen design ideas that they have done that may coincide with your ideas.

Kitchen Design Software: Free & Paid Versions

Remodeling a kitchen is no easy task, but kitchen design software is making design more accessible to homeowners. Although there isn’t kitchen-specific design software that is free or affordable for a one-time use, you do have some apps that feature a good kitchen design component. Otherwise, your only other option is professional-quality design software, which can cost $1,000 or more. Let’s take a look some of the programs available to homeowners:

Paid Software

1. Encore 3D Home Architect Design Suite

This software costs between $35 and $70. It’s easy to use, which is one of its pros, but it’s not effective enough to hand off to your contractor to use. It’s also not limited to your kitchen, so you can use it for other rooms in your home.

2. Custom Cabinet Software

Cabinets account for about 75 percent of your new kitchen costs, but high-end custom kitchen cabinetry design software can run upwards of $400 per year. If you make cabinets, this software does the job, but for many homeowners, it’s too specialized.

3. Punch! Software Home Design Studio Pro

This almost-professional design software is one of the best on the market, but it does cost $250 or more to use. It does have a learning curve, but most people master it within a weekend of using. With this software, you can almost hand over your design to your contractor and be ready to move forward.

Free Software

1. SketchUp

This design tool is food for all rooms in your home and is truly free. Many home remodelers use this tool. (It does have a Pro version that costs around $700.) You’ll find a lot of support for use, but only peer support.

2. IKEA Home Planner

Home Planner used to be a tool only for kitchen design, but it has expanded its scope. Make sure to set up an account before creating a plan, because it’s been known to delete plans that were set up without an account. This software is great for cabinet placement.

3. Prodboard

Prodboard is Ukraine-based, but it does have a lot of nice functions. There is a dedicated closet planner, which is uncommon in most 3d home design software tools. You have to use Prodboard on the company site, and you cannot purchase products. However, it is completely free to use.

As with most products, you get what you pay for. Even with kitchen design software, it’s still a good idea to work with a kitchen designer in North Jersey to make sure you’re staying within good design parameters that may not be addressed by the software tools for home users. We recommend you work with a kitchen designer for quality custom kitchen cabinetry design that is familiar with the kitchen design software you have been playing around with. Perhaps together you can craft a kitchen you will love.

Kitchen Flooring – When to Use Wood vs. Ceramic Tile

Some homeowners want to renovate a kitchen immediately after moving into a new home. Others want to remodel after getting tired of the same old kitchen for years. Either way, there are numerous options, and you should seriously consider what your kitchen designer recommends. Often just changing the flooring if it is old and worn is enough to revitalize your kitchen. So this post discussed the benefits of either hard wood floors or ceramic tile floors in the kitchen.

Wood

Hardwood flooring has been used in kitchens for as long as they have been building homes for its durability and availability. It maintains its high-quality appearance for years as long as you maintain it with some deep cleaning every few months and a urethane coating for protection. It also maintains an almost timeless quality provided you select the right materials initially. When you renovate a kitchen, you may want to think about resale value and what other buyers are going to like. Hardwood is a solid option that stands up to the test of time. However, it does cost a little more than option flooring options with some reports averaging it costs between $5 and $8 per square foot plus the installation costs.

Ceramic

Ceramic is highly resistant against water due to the protective glaze the tiles receive following installation. Similar to hardwood, it is extremely durable, and tends to lasts over 20 years after installation or longer depending upon the quality of the tile and how well it is installed. One huge advantage is that there are many options in regards to color, style, motif that you can select from where hardwood is limited to the shades of wood stain you can select from. You can decide how big you want the tiles to be and what shape they come in. One consideration is that they do tend to get a little cold around winter if you choose not to have radiant heat under the tiles.

When Is Each One Best?

While you should follow the advice of your kitchen designer in North Jersey, you ultimately want to pick flooring for that can repel stains when a glass of red wine falls and can hold up to heavy traffic. It may help to look at photos of kitchen flooring to help you make up your mind. Sometimes photos can suggest what you should not do.

If you want to remodel your kitchen to make your house easier to sell, then hardwood is a good choice because it does raise the resale value in most cases. However, if you plan on living in your house for a while and want something that captures your spirit and personality, then ceramic tiles may be the way to go. Listen to what your kitchen designer recommends, and then follow your own intuition so that you get the most out of your next renovation.

White Kitchen Cabinets Are Still Trendy

White Kitchen CabinetsFor homeowner’s looking to increase resale value, remodeling a kitchen makes sense. Still, swapping out old appliances, bad cabinets, and worn flooring requires a huge commitment. Unless you are planning to put your house on the market for sale immediately, you must live with the design choices you make. How are you to choose which cabinets to use? For virtually any space, white kitchen cabinets designed to fit your décor are still trendy. Here are a few reasons you can’t go wrong when you install white kitchen cabinetry.

Increase Visual Space

In many homes, kitchens seem dark and uninviting. When you look at most designer kitchen designs, by contrast, each room appears larger and brighter than they actually are. There is a reason designer kitchens look so great. In those rooms, white cabinets increase the perception of the visual space of the area. Since your eye doesn’t get caught up looking at dark wood or shadows, it focuses on other design elements in the room.

Promote Cleanliness

Whether you are a neat freak or not, you want your kitchen to look and feel clean. Since white is the color of cleanliness, white kitchen cabinets designed to fit help give your food preparation space a sanitary feel. Despite scrubbing, darker stained wood cabinets can often seem dull. Don’t let your guests think your kitchen is unclean. Instead, choose white cabinets to set a tidy tone for your home’s nerve center.

Complement Other Elements

If you’ve found the perfect slab of granite or the right refrigerator for your new kitchen, you may be concerned about cabinets clashing. That’s for good reason. If you choose too many bold elements for your new room, you risk getting a kitchen that looks busy and cluttered. When you opt for white cabinets, you can complement other design elements much better. Rather than having cabinets that contrast greatly with flooring, countertops, appliances, and other things, choose white and remove some of the clutter from your remodeled kitchen.

Invest in the Future

With a fresh coat of paint, white kitchen cabinets don’t show their age like other types of cabinets. Whether you plan to sell your house soon or own it forever, you can be certain your designer kitchen designs that include white cabinets will retain their designer, high-end look. Even better, if you decide to change design elements in the future, you will find that your white cabinets will be much more flexible with your new décor.

If you are considering remodeling your kitchen, you don’t have to be afraid of design commitments. By working with the right kitchen designer in Hamilton, NJ, invite the designer to suggest a few options of white kitchen cabinet designs. Two great minds work better than one.

Kitchen Designs That Seniors Appreciate Most

Kitchen Design For SeniorsWhile everyone has their own unique style when it comes to interior decorating, special considerations have to be made when it comes to designing an interior spaces for senior citizens that may struggle with tasks once considered easy. Not only should the home be visually appealing, it should be functional and made according to the unique needs of an aging body. Kitchens, in particular, often have to undergo the most alterations to adequately provide senior citizens with a comfortable and safe space. Learn the basics of a solid age in place kitchen design.

Counterspace

Individuals in wheelchairs need lower counters to feel comfortable while in the kitchen. Additionally, cabinets, appliances and everything else on the counters needs to be positioned so that someone in a wheelchair can easily reach everything without overexerting themselves. There are also special cabinet handles that can be installed to help those who have trouble with arthritis.

Sinks

Just like counters, sinks might need to be lowered for senior citizens. Those in wheelchairs are sure to appreciate sinks with a roll-under design that makes it easier for them to be used while a person is in a wheelchair. Besides roll-under sinks, installing a motorized sink is another good idea. Such sinks allow a person to adjust the height of the sink to one that suits them best.

Appliances

Appliances included in an age in place kitchen design should have a universal design. They should also be easy to use and understand and include convenient features. For instance, refrigerators with side-by-side doors are commonly easier for senior citizens to use. It’s also best to go with a model with the ice and water dispensers on the outside of the door. Also, it’s a good idea to aim for energy efficient kitchen designs to save money, which is great for everyone involved.

Floors

Floor material in kitchens frequently used by seniors should be slip- and skid-resistant. While it’s often easier to simply add a rug or two to the kitchen floors, senior citizens can easily trip over them, which can lead to the very accidents you want to prevent. It’s best to simply opt for slip-resistant flooring.

Lighting

It’s especially important to have proper lighting in a kitchen design for seniors. High light output LED bulbs are the way to go to keep elderly individuals from squinting and straining their eyes. Accent lights could be added over the sink and under cabinet kitchen lighting is helpful to keep seniors from having to turn on all the lights when it’s not necessary to do so.

A well-thought out age in place kitchen design makes life easier for senior citizens, and it’s great for their sense of independence. Let us know if you need help implementing these ideas.