Charging Drawer

Part 2 of Your Home Remodeling Guide: 5 Kitchen Trends for the New Year

Home Remodeling Guide

This is the second blog in a two-part series focused on helping you create a 2021 home remodeling guide. In part 1, we discussed bathroom trends that will be big this year. Part 2 will focus on kitchen trends.

The kitchen is a place that you are sure to spend a lot of time in. Whether you actually like cooking or not, the kitchen is often used by every family member – a multi-purpose room of sorts where you gather for family meals, entertain, do homework with your kids, or catch up on work. 

Is your current kitchen designed to meet both your functional and aesthetic needs? Is it a practical and a comfortable space, where you enjoy spending time?

If you’re thinking about an upgrade, here are our top five 2021 kitchen remodel trends to keep on your radar. 

Trend #1: Pantries

Organization is key to any room in a home, but in the kitchen it’s absolutely essential (think: cookware, bakeware, utensils, plates, glasses, food…the list goes on). It’s a lot of stuff for one area! Up your pantry game by customizing it. Who says you can’t have it ALL in your pantry? Shelves, baskets, pop-in drawers, lazy Susans – you name it, use it. Rather than just stacking things on shelves, get creative and use other vehicles to store items. Group things by category to make your life easier.

 

Hands Free Faucet

 

Trend #2: Touchless faucets

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are hyper aware of germs these days, so touchless faucets are becoming more and more popular. They are also incredibly helpful when you are cooking and have messy hands. The touchless feature keeps your faucet germ- and mess-free.

Trend #3: Large Islands

Kitchen islands are very popular, as they add additional workspace and casual seating to the room. In 2021, large kitchen islands that incorporate storage are gaining traction, and we anticipate that this design will become a kitchen staple. 

Additionally, contrasting kitchen islands – where, for instance, the accent base color doesn’t match the cabinets – are growing in popularity. This is a simple way to make your kitchen pop. 

Trend #4: Hidden Appliances

Why look at your appliances if you don’t have to? Unnecessary clutter is the arch nemesis of the kitchen!

Today, more people are interested in taking the focus away from appliances, through clever ways to hide them in plain sight. Here are a few appliances you can hide:

  1. Refrigerator: Compared to traditional refrigerators that typically stick out way past the counter, built-in refrigerators blend in and look flush with surrounding cabinets. This is a way to make your refrigerator appear to be less intrusive in the space. Some come with the option to add panels that match your cabinets, to make it even more discrete. 
  2. Dishwasher: In addition to your refrigerator, you can add panels to your dishwasher that match your cabinets.
  3. Microwave: Microwave drawers make this appliance less visible, while still enabling easy access when you need it. 
  4. Stand mixers and other miscellaneous small appliances: Use a slide-out cabinet to tuck these away. This type of cabinet is great for appliances that you don’t use every day. 
Charging Drawer

 

Trend #5: Charging Stations

In our digital age, everyone’s looking for a charge! We’re seeing increased interest in having more plugs available to accomodate all of your devices. Since many of us are working and schooling from home, there is a demand for more power. Installing hidden charging stations – in a drawer, for example – are great ways to keep your devices hidden.

 

We hope our 2021 kitchen home remodeling guide has given you the ideas you need to inspire your next kitchen makeover! 

Interested in learning how these trends could play out in your own space? Or do you have a home remodeling project in mind you’d like to discuss? We’d love to hear from you!

cookies

Master Holiday Baking with these Creative Kitchen Remodel Ideas

Whether you’re looking for easy DIY ideas or long-term kitchen remodel projects for holiday baking, this blog post has you covered. 

cookiesThis holiday season is sure to look very different from years past, as families continue to practice social distancing and limiting indoor events that could promote the spread of COVID-19. 

With this in mind, instead of inviting family in for a holiday meal, use our current circumstances as a chance to send treats out! It’s never been a more perfect time to share your favorite cookie or treat with those closest to you and let them know you care.

If you are a first-time holiday baker, it may seem overwhelming to prep your kitchen for a large quantity of baked goods. However, there are some easy ways to make your space more functional. If you’re a holiday baking pro, on the other hand, perhaps you’re thinking about that kitchen remodel you’ve always wanted to transform your space into the perfect at-home bakery. 

Either way, in this blog post we share some ideas to turn your kitchen into the perfect place to create delicious treats that will spread lots of holiday cheer!

Short-term DIY Tips

If you’re looking for a quick fix to make holiday baking easier, there are a few things you can do to turn your kitchen into the ideal space for turning out baked goods.

    1.    Use a rolling kitchen cart to create temporary storage that can house all of your baking supplies. By adding a kitchen cart, you don’t need to rearrange your entire kitchen, and you can stow it away in a closet or pantry when it’s not in use. (Bonus tip: find a kitchen cart with a solid surface top that you can double as additional work space).
    2.    Create a workspace. If you don’t normally keep a large section of your countertop cleared and ready for mixing, rolling, etc., clear the clutter and set a dedicated space that you can use throughout the baking season.
    3.    Use glass containers or mason jars to store smaller supplies (i.e. cupcake liners, cookie cutters, etc.), so you can see the contents of each at first glance. Consider keeping the most used items out on your workspace, and put the rest on your cart or in a cabinet/pantry where there’s extra space.
    4.    Group the ingredients needed for each baking project into their own storage space (i.e. a basket, bin, etc). This will help streamline the baking process and save time. 
    5.    Tuck away infrequently used items. As you’re reorganizing, you’ll likely come across kitchen items that you don’t often use. Don’t let them take up prime real estate for nothing! Tuck these items away for potential future use, or even consider selling or donating them. This will free up more space for baking and other items you use more frequently. 
Longer-term Kitchen Remodel Ideas

If you’re an experienced baker, perhaps you’re looking for a more permanent solution for holiday baking that will benefit you for years to come.

Create your ideal workflow
The flow of your kitchen is as unique as you are! While designers recommend creating a triangle with your sink, fridge, and stove, the rest of your kitchen layout should reflect how you will best use the space. Take counter space, for example. There may be a need for ample prep space to fit a stand mixer, roll out dough, etc., so make sure to keep things like this in mind when you’re laying out your kitchen remodel.

Get organized
No matter the size of the space or scale of your kitchen remodel, it’s important to optimize the space you have to store all of your baking supplies and equipment.

  • Dedicate an entire cabinet or large drawer (or both!) for your baking supplies so everything is one place. Ideally the location of the cabinet or drawer would be near where you plan to do most of your mixing, rolling, etc.Mier Lift
  • Build a tall narrow cabinet for storing baking trays/sheets upright.
  • Install a spice cabinet. Use it to store your sprinkles and decorative items.
  • Build a cabinet for your heavy stand mixer, so it’s easily accessible. You might even consider putting a lift in the cabinet to make it even simpler to access.
  • Consider an area – whether it’s a shelf, cabinet, or something else – to store all of your cookbooks and written recipes. Ideally this would be close to your work station.
Consider your stove(s) If you’re looking to purchase a new oven, opt for one that has a convection setting. Convection heat cooks food more evenly, so it’s perfect for most baking. The setting also does wonders for other types of non-baking cooking, like roasting. If space allows, you might also consider adding a second oven so you can bake more than one thing at a time. Pick out functional finishes and fixtures. There are a lot of ways to bring together function and style.
  • For countertops, choose a solid surface finish that is ideal for rolling out dough (granite, marble).  
  • Ever try to wash your hands after they’ve been handling sticky dough? By adding a touchless, motion-activated faucet, you don’t have to worry about getting your sink handles dirty.
  • Be sure you install ample, bright lighting, so you’re able to clearly see the treats you’re decorating. 
  • It’s critical that you have access to power in the right places, so you’re able to plug in a stand/hand mixer and other items. Not a fan of how outlets look? Add pretty outlet covers or consider hiding power access by putting an outlet in a cabinet or other covered areas.

It doesn’t matter if this is your first year or 10th year holiday baking – there are both small, simple add-ons, and larger, more permanent kitchen remodel upgrades to make your space work best for your baking needs. And even though this year may look different, you can (and should!) still enjoy your space and baking for loved ones.

If you’re ready for a remodel or have a project in mind that you’d like to discuss, we’d love to hear from you

Holiday Cookies

Kitchen Renovation Ideas – How ”at-home” chefs can optimize their space to hone in on their craft

Are you – or someone you know – an “at-home” chef?  Great cooking is an artistic expression in its own right. But, despite how skilled you or your loved one may be, your kitchen design can make or break the process, creating either a blissful experience or a massive headache. 

We’ve had the opportunity to do kitchen redesigns for several cooking enthusiasts, and have found that while the style can vary, there are generally some non-negotiables that all cooking-lover-kitchens should have. In this blog post, we break these down into three core areas: 

1) Layout & Storage 

2) Appliances & Lighting

3) Materials & Finishes

Whether you’re looking to optimize your kitchen to hone in on your craft, or are just curious about how the pros make it happen seemingly effortlessly, read on!

1) Layout & Storage for Seamless Efficiency

Nail the layout by creating a “working triangle” The layout is critical and serves as the foundation of this space. The “working triangle” theory asserts that your three main work areas (sink, refrigerator, and stove) should form a triangle. Depending on the size of your kitchen, your designer can help you determine adequate distance between each, but generally you want to find a balance – not too far apart, but not too compact either. This will enable comfortable movement and flow between your prep work at the sink, grabbing ingredients from the fridge, and the actual cooking or baking at the oven. 

Create convenience by establishing “work zones”  We recommend making each point of the triangle and the surrounding areas individual work “zones” – meaning that the different steps of the cooking process, and all of their necessary tools, should be centralized. When you’re working with a kitchen designer, align on the stations that will work best for you as a cook, to ensure that the design and layout accommodates enough storage space and surface area. 

Your zones can vary, but these seven are pretty standard:

  1. Prep zone: Your sink/large counter area that should include your knives, peelers, trashcans, etc.
  2. Cooking zone: This is your stove/oven area that should include accessible storage space for things like pots, pans, and large utensils.
  3. Baking zone: This should be near your oven, so consider it the next-door neighbor of the cooking zone. It includes your roll trays, baking sheets, measuring cups, spices, and other must-haves. One nuance is that the more “professional” chefs tend to keep spices and oils away from the stove, as heat damages/weakens them.
  4. Beverage zone: This can include counter space next to your refrigerator, to enable easy access and pouring of juice, water, coffee, etc, and can also include space for the coffee maker. Ideally your glasses (and coffee grinds/k-cups) will be housed in a nearby cabinet and drawer.
  5. Lunch-packing zone: Dedicate a cabinet or two above or below counter space – ideally within reach of both your snack pantry and prep utensils – for food containers, reusable water bottles, napkins, foil, etc. 
  6. Cleanup zone: Cleanup supplies are typically centralized under or around the sink (next-door neighbor of the prep zone), including cleaning liquids, paper towels, and trash bags. We encourage you to store anything with chemicals out of the reach of children. 
  7. Entertainment zone: A large island is ideal for guests and can be dual-purpose, with one end for snacks and seating, and the other for you or your chef(s) to prepare dishes, while still remaining in close proximity to friends and family. The flow should enable guests to move in and out of the kitchen without disturbing the cook. The cook’s end of the island should be closest to the prep, cooking, and refrigerator zones, while the guests’ end should be closer to the entryway into the living room.

Fit more “stuff” while reducing clutter with creative (and ample) storage spaces

For example

  • Pantry systems
  • Nook you can put behind your oven for oils
  • Spice rack (or a “secret drawer”)
  • Peg systems to store plates in drawers
  • Spice inserts/pull-outs
  • Corner cabinet (lazy susan, leman’s unit, magic corner)
  • Special dividers for baking sheets to avoid cramming

2) Appliances & Lighting for Function & Lifestyle

Select appliances based on your lifestyle

Selecting the “right” appliances for your kitchen will vary depending on a few factors. Ask yourself these questions: 

  • Which appliances do you use most often?
  • Which foods do you cook the most?
  • Are you a vegetarian? Or do you eat meat or fish often?
  • Do you have a large or growing family? 
  • Do you host guests often?
  • Do you shop weekly? Or once or twice a month in bulk?
  • Do you use speciality cookware? 

The answers to these questions will help you determine the right appliances, including the size and layout of your refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher, and whether you’d benefit from two small ovens or a single large one, two sinks, etc.

In terms of appliance quality, we find that more advanced cooking enthusiasts will invest in longer-lasting, state-of-the-art stainless steel appliances. Whether your budget limits you to commercial-grade appliances or not, you’ll want to ensure a large ventilation system to accommodate for heat, smoke, and vapor. 

Strategically store your appliances 

When it comes to the positioning of larger appliances, consider the “work zones” we mentioned before. As for the smaller, countertop appliances (blenders, food processors, mixers, bullets, etc), it’s important to create a home for them. No one wants to travel to the basement or garage to retrieve them, as it creates inefficiency and hinders your workflow. We’ve found that more and more people are looking to keep their frequently used appliances plugged in and ready to use, but want them out of sight. For this, we’ll often build an appliance garage, built on a centralized countertop behind “doors” – making it easily accessible but without clutter.

Alternatively, you could use a large drawer, or store them in a walk-in pantry, if you have one. For heavier items – like a mixer – you can add a moveable stand for it, so you don’t need to lift it (ideal for bakers!). 

Mixer Lift

3) Materials & Finishes That Blend Style & Function

Flooring     Choose flooring that is comfortable, easy to clean, and fits your style. The obvious choice for most is hardwood, as it’s visually appealing and easy to maintain. However, it all depends on the style of the rest of your kitchen – you want it to match! For example, the material and color of your flooring will vary for modern, vintage, and southern-style kitchens. 

Countertops   Similarly to appliances, serious chefs will opt for stainless steel to withstand heat and stains, and for easy maintenance. For an eco-friendly option, consider recycled glass countertops (these are also heat-resistant). If style and self-expression are important to you, ceramic tile and porcelain offer a wider variety of colors and enable more creativity, while still maintaining heat and stain-resistance. 


Conclusion

Ultimately, your cooking-lovers-kitchen can and should blend function with style, according to your budget. We’d recommend starting with a list of your “must-have” kitchen items, and go from there!

If you’re in need of a kitchen contractor, please contact us! We can have a virtual design meeting, or we can meet at our Design Center (we have several COVID-19 protocols in place, which you can find here). If you’re concerned about budget, let’s chat and we’ll determine what is feasible. 

Want to see some of these kitchen remodel ideas in action? Check out our kitchen portfolio page for before and after pictures!