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.


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 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.

Faucets & Fixtures That Liven Up a New Kitchen

Kitchen FaucetWhether you are building a new home or remodeling your current one, you have the opportunity to incorporate popular trends to suit your lifestyle and your aesthetic pleasure. More fixtures used throughout the home these days are geared towards new technology that offer better function, while at the same time giving you choices for the look you want. Take kitchen faucets, for example; you have more options than ever to add beauty while taking away a bit of the work. These kitchen hardware ideas may spark your creativity when you select fixtures for your new kitchen.

Fabulous Features

It’s time to make your kitchen faucet earn its keep! Today’s fixtures can do more than let water flow. These faucet ideas may appeal to you:

  • Pot fillers: tall faucets extended 8 inches higher than most faucets or an additional wall mount can make filling a large stock pot easier.
  • Pull-out faucets: these can be used in place like a regular faucet or pulled away from the main hardware to be used as a sprayer for rinsing..
  • Aeration faucets: you can reduce your water usage with faucets that add air flow to a reduced water flow to keep water pressure the same. This idea is great from our eco-friendly kitchen designer.
  • Motion sensors-faucets with a hands-free motion detector will only activate when it detects hands or objects under the faucet. This wastes less water for hand washing sinks.

Fancy Finishes

Remember when kitchen faucets were only chrome? Today you have a slew of other finishes to consider as well. Brushed nickel and bronze continue to be popular, but some of the newer finishes offer more than just looks. Stainless steel and matte black mask both water spots and fingerprints. You can also look for different textures, such as smooth, shiny, or oil-rubbed for a more unique touch in your new kitchen.

Fresh Fittings

What if you want a more custom look for your home? A new kitchen hardware idea incorporates a pop of color in the faucet trim. Look for a white, red, or black inset against a metal finish for a bold statement. Very popular for 10+ years is the single handle design over separate hot and cold handles for more simplicity and easier use. A kitchen designer with creativity can show you all the latest styles at various price points to make your kitchen more appealing to you and your guests.

How do you know if any of these features in kitchen faucets for new kitchens are right for you? Consumer reports and sites like Best Reviews takes the guesswork out of fixtures by testing products and sharing the results with consumers to keep you informed before you buy.

What Can a Kitchen Designer Bring to the Table?

If you think a kitchen update is absolutely needed, then you can benefit quite a bit by calling on the services of an experienced kitchen designer. Even if you are a skilled do-it-yourselfer, you should still really get kitchen-layout toolssomeone who is a professional in the area to help you with design and thinking through potential challenges. The benefits of your investment are very much worth it, and you should consider the value of what a kitchen designer brings to the table thoroughly before making any huge decisions.

Help With Planning the Budget

Kitchen remodeling of any size is going to cost you and you should have enough money set aside to complete the project in a timely fashion before you even start. You do not want to get halfway through the job only to find that you have run out of funds. We recommend planning out every step of the project and budget the costs accordingly. A qualified designer will be able to give you valuable information related to what needs to be done and how much each individual aspect could cost. A kitchen designer will also tell you how much you should have saved as a backup in case any unknown variables come up that require more funds.

Assist With Planning

kitchen-designer-somersetYou may have certain ideas for what you may want done to your kitchen, or you may have no clue where to even start. By getting a professional on board in the planning stages, you will gain insights of material types, color selections, structural requirements and the skills you may need for your project. A kitchen designer with décor choices would be best to go along with adjoining rooms so that colors and styles blend rather than conflict with the rest of your home. You may also be interested in current trends that may be applicable to your project. A designer can bring you her experience that the do it yourselfer cannot garner from simply reading about the latest styles of custom kitchen cabinets or the consumer reports on ecofriendly kitchen appliances.

Make the Project Safer

The installation of electrical outlets, repositioning gas lines and the quality of the plumbing you install into your kitchen project will require accomplished professionals to avoid any major catastrophe in your home down the line. A designer will take all of these into consideration when laying out the foundation of your new kitchen. You do not want something going wrong during the renovation process or immediately after the job is complete.

If you need kitchen layout ideas, then it is a good idea to have a consultation with a kitchen designer in Somerset County NJ during the early stages. All of your dreams can come to life when a talented designer takes on the custom kitchen cabinets you were envisioning and all the other tasks required to make this dream come true for you.

Types of Wood Used for Custom Cabinets

When you shop for cabinets, the type of wood used is just as important as the overall look and finish of the cabinets. Consumers can buy cabinets that are ready-to-assemble (RTA), semi-custom kitchen cabinetry or custom cabinets and in each case you can dictate the types of wood you would like to use for your cabinets. Custom cabinets offer the largest selections of wood types, and price fluctuates based upon supply and demand. Below is a list of wood types that you may come across in your quest for the perfect cabinets for your home.

  1. Paint Grade – Paint grade wood can consist of a wide range of lumber quality. Many cabinet companies that apply a painted finish might even use particleboard or MDF instead of solid wood. The most common paint grade woods are maple, poplar and birch.
  2. Oak – Oak just might be the most popularly used wood for cabinets. Many contractor-grade cabinets and economically-priced cabinets are made of oak. This wood type is available in more than 200 species is grown all around the world. The most common oak finish for cabinets is Honey and Natural. Oak is a dense, strong wood that can accept stain well and hold up to everyday use.
  3. Pine – Pine is available in three versions, yellow, white and ponderosa. White pine is easy to work with and easily accepts stains. On the other hand, ponderosa requires special attention because it might still have resin concentrated in the wood. This wood is great for giving your home a rustic feel.
  4. Maple – Maple is another popular wood type that can be found in various species. This is most common in RTA cabinets as it grows abundantly in China and most RTA cabinets are manufactured in China. There are over ten maple species that come from the United States so there’s a wide variety. Maple is easy to work with and easily accepts stains. It can be finished in any color, from Chestnut Glaze to Honey.
  5. Cherry – Cherry is mostly used in mid-priced to higher-end cabinets. Its unique feature is it gets darker with time, following a light stain application. As the wood is exposed to sunlight, over the years, it will change to the red-brown color many people associate with antique cherry furniture.
  6. Bamboo – With the call to going eco-friendly, more and more cabinets are now made with bamboo. It is a hearty plant that grows quickly, but it has to be veneered over another wood as bamboo doesn’t grow thick enough to cut into planks. Today, bamboo is only found and used in custom shops throughout the US.
  7. Mahogany – Mahogany provides a very rich look with its red-brown color. Aside from some exotic wood types, this is one of the most expensive options among the common wood types. Mahogany accents stain really well, although it’s not a very strong wood.

Whether you’re updating your rental unit or building a modern kitchen, there are so many wood types to choose from for your wall cabinets for the kitchen. Choosing a wood type that you prefer for your semi custom kitchen cabinetry is just as important as choosing the kitchen designer for your Princeton home. Keep this article handy when you find yourself shopping for custom kitchen cabinets in NJ.

Kitchen Islands with Room to Spare

One of the most versatile elements in today’s kitchen is the island, providing the homeowner with additional food preparation areas and in kitchen dining space. Kitchen islands can help define the kitchen work area and direct traffic away from the so-called “work triangle,” so your kitchen is a nicer place to work and socialize. The shape, size and features of a kitchen island can be customized to your needs. Here are 10 things to consider when planning for your island.

  1. Make space – The footprint of the island should not be the only area to consider. A buffer of at least 36 inches of clearance around every side is needed for cabinetry doors and for people to move about. Ideally, the width of a kitchen island is about 42 inches.
  2. Place Functionality over Form – The kitchen shape does not have to dictate your island shape. Determine what you want your island to be. Express your needs and desires to your kitchen designer to ensure that the island is more than just a piece of big cabinetry.
  3. Break it up – A long counter might seem like the logical place to place stools for eating, but the “bar room” setup is not really conducive to conversation. Arrange seating around the corner of the island or a rounded end so people are face to face.
  4. Have an outlet or two – If you have and use many small appliances, consider adding extra electrical outlets in your island plan. Additional outlets should be added to the design in a way that they are as inconspicuous as possible.
  5. Consider people in your design – Include clearance for chair legs under the counter and ensure anything you need to access while seated is within reach. You can customize work areas and appliances for a taller cook or perhaps a wider cook.
  6. Choose the right materials – If you want marble countertops or even a butcher block in your kitchen, consider how the island area might be used in food preparation. Cuts from sharp knives, the damage caused by hot pots or hardened food stains can be more difficult to remove from certain materials. Be selective.
  7. Décor from other rooms – Your island can incorporate design details of your other rooms in your home, like detailed woodwork or a certain color of ceramic tile can be integrated into your kitchen island design. Newer homes can incorporate stainless steel or specialty eco-friendly materials.
  8. Preserve the view – If your kitchen has a good view, make the most of it. If you want to have a cooktop in your island, use a vacuum exhaust vent that is under the cooking surface instead of installing a range hood so sight lines will not be blocked.
  9. Hide your mess – Create a dual height counter with a bar eating area to hide your prep materials and dishes from socializing areas. This will let you spend time with your family or guests and leave the cleanup for later.

There are so many things to consider when planning your creative kitchen island design, and hiring an experienced kitchen designer in Hamilton NJ is a great option. This person can work with you in making the perfect island, complete with cabinetry and selecting the best lighting above kitchen islands. Have a few of your own ideas? Share them in our comments below.