All posts by Tony Goodheart

Different Styles of Kitchen Design

There are many different styles of kitchen design which may not have crossed your mind. When remodeling your kitchen, knowing what style you prefer is the first step too. Discussing it with your professional contractor is the next one. Below are some different kitchen styles and the pros and cons of each:

  • The U-shaped kitchen: This is a very versatile design for a kitchen which is large or small. It uses three walls, so the work stations are spaced for convenience. It has a lot of storage space on the countertops, and it’s great for people who cook frequently. However, it can look cluttered if you don’t store your utensils so you should consider installing a Lazy Susan and hiding the microwave in a wall cabinet.
  • L-shaped kitchen: This look is created by having work space and counter space on two adjacent walls. The design is flexible because appliances can be placed in several locations. Space can open into a nearby room or a table also, so the person cooking will be able to interact with individuals in another room. This layout is not a good choice for a small space.
  • Galley kitchen: This layout is only big enough for one cook. The work stations are on parallel walls which keeps the appliances close to each other. You need at least 4 feet of space between the cabinets so the drawers can be opened at the same time if needed. For more storage, stack storage options to keep clutter down.
  • Single wall kitchen: This layout has the appliances and the cabinets lining one wall. The sink is usually in the middle; the refrigerator and stove are on either side of the sink. The cook will have to walk from one end to the other, but it does save space.
  • G shaped kitchen: This is very much like the U shape because it uses three walls of the kitchen too. But, there’s an added partial fourth wall. This wall has countertops and cabinets in it. This partial wall can have a counter for a breakfast bar.

 

Before remodeling your kitchen, decide which style will work in your space.

Converting a Guest Room into An Office

You’ve been trying to work from home ever since the office is letting you telecommute. But, having to work on the kitchen table amidst all the noise and bustle of family life is getting to be a challenge. So, what about converting the guest room into a home office?

A home office

Turning a guest room into a functioning home office isn’t difficult. Planning is an important part before you start though because you have figure out exactly how the room will be used. Will it only be your office? Can you have it all to yourself or will it be used as a guest room too? How much space are you working with for the office and whatever else is in the plan?

So to start with, look at the room as if it is was empty with what can be moved then moved out. Make a rough design of where you want to place your desk, filing cabinets, storage cabinets, and anything else you think you’ll need. In your plan, note where the electrical outlets are, which way the door swings, where the closet is if there is one and where the furnace vents are. Plus, if you’re planning on using the guest room remember that they are often smaller than they look, so you want to use your space effectively. So rough plan first to see if it’s feasible, then take accurate measurements if it is so, then buy what will fit.

Also, if you do have a closet in the room, you can install wire shelving to hold office supplies. Install wall shelving though for extra storage space and equipment which is lightweight. Another thing to consider is purchasing a corner desk unit even if you have a desk. Since a corner is often underutilized, it could be the perfect idea. Plus, it can be used as a second workspace if you have another person is using the room.

What else?

You will need a comfortable office chair to support your neck and back. It should be adjustable and have lumbar support. Don’t even think about using a kitchen chair for your desk because you’ll regret it after a long day.

If you do need to use the room as an occasional guest room, you can install a Murphy bed or use a futon. A futon will give you extra seating in your office if you want to take a break.

Having your office in your home has many benefits.

In-law Kitchen Designs

When you have your senior in-laws move in with you, the idea of trying to create their private area can be challenging. It may be done by combining two rooms on the first floor such as an unused bedroom and dining room. Or it could be done by converting a bedroom and enclosing a back porch. Go over your plans though with a reputable contractor helps. But whatever combination you come up with, be sure to include a kitchen of some kind.

What kind of kitchen?

If you have limited space, you don’t have to put in a full-fledged kitchen. You can have a small apartment sized refrigerator, a sink, counter space, a pantry for canned goods and a microwave here. It can be an essential kitchen area without needing much space. A small table with folding sections can be used, or comfortable stools for a counter for eating instead of a larger dining room set too.

Another option is going with a larger kitchen area. Your in-laws may be healthy now, but what happens when they get older; they may need to be in wheelchairs? You need to be sure that the openings to the kitchen have at least 32 inches of space then which is open for a wheelchair to pass through the doors with open wheelchair channels to move to areas. Additionally, in the kitchen area, there needs to be space of at least 60 inches around the appliances so that a wheelchair can be turned around for access.

Other concerns

Also, reachable counters is something to think about too. For a person who is standing, a counter is about 36 inches high, but if the individual is in a wheel chair, then it should be 28-32 inches high. You can put the countertops in now if your in-laws are mobile at 36 inches and then plan on having them lowered if necessary though. If you tell your professional contractor your concerns, he can make allowances for having to adjust them in the future.

Another idea would be to install non-slip flooring. This way your in-laws won’t slip and fall when walking, using a walker, or if they’re in a wheelchair. Also, placing cabinets a little lower as well as a Lazy Susan on the shelves will make it easier for reaching things.

If you have your in-laws move in, an area that they can all their own will make it easier on everyone.

Kitchen Sink Styles

When redoing your kitchen, and thinking about replacing the kitchen sink, do you know how many different styles there are? There is one to fit whatever remodeling dream you have. All you need to do is choose the one you think will suit your new design best and then talk it over with your professional contractor. So, just in case you don’t know your choices, below is a helpful list:

  • Vessel sinks: These sinks used to be just for bathrooms, but now moving them into the kitchen has caught on. A vessel sink sits on the counter, or slightly below it. Because of this position, you don’t have to bend over it like a traditional sink which is easier on the back. They come in a variety of materials, so one will match the look that you’ve chosen.
  • Farmhouse sinks: It’s also called an apron sink. It’s rectangular, has an exposed front and is extra deep. It’s set into of the counter, and the hardware is installed right into the countertop too. The installation of the faucets is either to the side of the basin or behind it.
  • Trough sinks: This sink is leaner and longer than a regular one. It can handle up to four faucets and drains, and about as many people using it. These are ideal for families who like to cook in groups, or for someone who gardens or does crafting. You can run several faucets at once to get the job completed efficiently.
  • Seamless sinks: This sink is melded right into the countertop into a single piece. It eliminates the problem of trying to clean that tiny crevice between the sink and countertop. The sink looks as if it’s flowing into the countertop. You can also have it manufactured from the same material as your countertop, for example, quartz or natural stone.

When you’re remodeling your kitchen, think about adding a new style of the sink too.

Mixed Materials for in the Kitchen

When you mix several different materials in your kitchen, not only does it give it a unique appearance, but you can save you money. You may want a to combine different materials between your countertop and your cabinets. Or you might choose to mix in some granite but not for the entire kitchen.

Combining material ideas

One of the places where mixed materials are used most often is on countertops. You can combine butcher block for the area where you cut vegetables but use something else for the other countertops. Butcher block near a kitchen sink isn’t a good idea because it can be damaged by a constant source of water.

Also, on a kitchen island, authentic granite can be used where it can be seen. Then you could use laminated faux granite on what doesn’t show. Many materials which are natural have synthetic counterparts which complement each other. It can save you the expense of real granite throughout your kitchen.

Other ideas

Another option is to have resin surfaces installed. The resin is a blend of polyester or acrylic with fillers made from minerals. It has a smooth almost natural stone like feel to it. It comes in assorted solid colors, as well as patterns which resemble stone. The surface is solid, and it’s easy to maintain and clean. Plus, if you stain it or burn it by accident, these problems can be removed by buffing or by doing other repairs quickly.

The resin is also easier to work with than stone because it can be cut and pieced together. You can use contrasting colors and assorted shapes for a unique touch too. A router can be used on it to give you an elegant edge.

Tiles are made from clay which has been high-fired heated. The surface has been baked, and this lets it resist water, heat, and stains. With proper care, it will last a lifetime. You should clean the grout when it becomes dirty though. It can be on countertops, backsplashes, and floors.

As you can see, you don’t have to stay with one material when remodeling your kitchen.

Luxury Closets

Imagine having a closet with cabinets and shelves which is larger than your bedroom? Because some people go beyond the phrase “walk-in closet.” It should be called a room for their clothes. So just what type of closets do the rich go for? Below are some descriptions of what might be in a closet for the wealthy:

  • A wardrobe room for the sophisticated man may have wood cabinetry, stained dark with dark hardwood floors. Shelves could be throughout the space which are lighted, with hanging rods. Mirrors could be located above a chevron designed rug with lots of texture. Any cubbies which would be in the closet would also be lighted. Perhaps these would be used for shoes or other personal items.
  • Another closet may have lacquer cabinetry painted stark white. It could contain boots, expensive clothing, shoes and many other items. There could be a crystal chandelier in black as well as a button tufted ottoman in silver for sitting down when putting on boots and shoes.
  • Peeking inside another closet may show us a hardwood floor designed in dark wood. White cabinets, bronze mirrors and French doors which are mirrored would complete it. Sparkling crystal knobs on drawers would reflect the light a rectangular crystal chandelier. A luxurious couch to lounge on could be there while an attendant pulls out selections of dresses and shoes to decide on for the day.
  • Some closets have islands in the center, bathrooms, makeup stations with lighted mirrors for a professional look with even a bar and kitchenette. The top of the line luxury closets can even have elevators in them to go to the next level. Clothes could be on different levels depending on what they’re used. There could be a locked storage areas for furs and jewelry, a separate section for shoes and evening gowns.

When budget isn’t an issue, the sky is the limit for storing your clothes, shoes and personal belongings.

Luxury Master Bathrooms

Some homeowners have interesting ideas for luxury bathrooms. Not a simple shower stall and a plain tile floor, they like to relax in comfort. Below are some descriptions of what a contractor can do for the wealthy:

  • For a touch of the royal, what about gold accents, tiles in a mosaic pattern and crystal chandeliers? Top this off with bathroom cabinets in zebrawood and bathroom furniture which is streamlined but comfortable. Perfect after a long day at the office.
  • What about marble floors and walls finished in Venetian gold for luxury? The ceilings can be arched with stone columns with embellishments. Also, what about having a soaking tub in front of a fireplace for a romantic rendezvous.
  • For a tropical touch, soak in a free-standing, red bathtub surrounded by all white walls and high ceilings. A painted mural on the wall will bring the tropics into the room, with succulents and driftwood added as decorations for the perfect accents.
  • A touch of the East in a luxury bathroom may include wallpaper in a bird pattern. The floors can be yellow with a lacquer room divider for undressing behind it. An elevated white bathtub with Chinese lanterns for lighting rounds out the room’s feel.
  • The Victorian Era may bring a white slipper bath to the front and center. It can be surrounded by wallpaper and décor in shades of pink with rose accents; floral touches will abound. The tiles can be marble in a warm shade of brown to bring it all together. Fluffy towels and ankle soft bathroom rugs complete the picture.

Freestanding baths, showers with multiple showerheads like falling rain, exquisite lighting, and soft fluffy towels are hall marks of a luxury bathroom. Lots of room for storage of personal needs and nothing shows which shouldn’t be out.

These types of master bathrooms are truly for comfort and relaxation.