Tag Archives: small kitchens

Trends are toward renovations that are simpler and budget friendly

Real estate values are still struggling, and people are viewing their homes not as investments, but as their homes!  In other words, the trend is to stay in place and do makeovers for a more livable home.

Because of this trend, home remodeling is expected to increase during the second half of the year, making 2012 the strongest year since 2006. Driving the market will be midsize kitchen and bath projects, maintenance work and energy-efficiency upgrades.

In fact, Americans are now spending more on remodeling than on new construction, according to Stephen Melman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).  He states that we are moving less now than at any time since WWII.

A survey of Better Homes and Gardens magazine stated that 61% of consumers wanted to get the most value for their budget – bargain hunting, in other words. 

The survey also found that consumers are most interested in style upgrades to countertops, flooring, faucets and fixtures, followed by general maintenance, decor updates, efficiency and home organization.

There’s a trend from formal to informal living, says Jerry Levine, president of the Washington, D.C. area remodeling firm Levine Group Architects and Builders. He says his high-end clientele, who spend an average of $240,000 on renovations, want space to be comfortable, not fancy.

Now, he says, Americans are going back to the future as they try to create permanent, family homes that reflect who they are. “The house is the most direct mirror of your personal values,” he says. “When people renovate to change their lives, they waste their money, but when they renovate to improve how they already live, they benefit.”

What are homeowners seeking?

  • Outdoor connection – resulting in larger windows, decks, or porches.
  • Livable kitchens – the kitchen is the new living room; shifting away from wall cabinets which can block views to a living area.
  • More open floor plans – kitchen that connect to the living room, dining area and the outdoors.
  • Togetherness – the open living core encourages coming together.
  • Smaller master baths – doing away with spa tubs, reclaiming that space for larger shower and vanities.
  • Better use of space – reconfigure existing space to make it work better.
  • Energy efficiency – clients are requesting more efficient windows, doors and insulated walls.
  • Mudrooms – Americans seek to reduce clutter and drop rooms or mud rooms provide a space to put items without cluttering up the living space.
  • Universal design – for aging in place as baby boomers need more ADA rated showers, entries and doorways sized for wheelchairs and ease of access.


Filed under Additions, Aging-in-place, remodeling

Is your kitchen driving you crazy?

One of the small, efficient kitchens!

Sometimes its easier to know what is wrong with a room, than to know how to fix it.  Professional Builder has an excellent article on what to do with that inefficient, hard-to-work-in kitchen.

Most of these layouts are rather large kitchens, but there are a couple of small kitchens; they are all well thought out designs that will inspire you, whatever the size of your kitchen.

Go to www.housingzone.com, “Re-thinking the modern kitchen: 5 design concepts”.  It’s fun to check out well-designed kitchens, and think about which concepts would add to our kitchens!

1 Comment

Filed under kitchen remodels, remodeling

Include decorative tile in your kitchen or bath design

Most of us are aware of how much difference adding the right tile to a bath remodel can make.  But when it comes to kitchens, tile seems to take a back seat to the cabinets and appliances.

Kitchen tile
White kitchen tile with distinctive colorful strip


The use of warm colors and diamond shaped tiles add a nice touch to this cozy kitchen.

diamond shaped kitchen dectorative tile

diamond shaped kitchen decorative tile

One more example of what decorative tile can do for your kitchen design

verticle strips of gold toned tile

Creative use of contrasting tile stripsKitchen tile

 So start checking out tile patterns for your kitchen!

Leave a comment

Filed under kitchen remodels, Remodel Kitchen & Bath, remodeling

Alright! Back to the Basics – Getting the most from that small kitchen

So, as I have been wont to say, we do not all have the option to just snap our fingers and get the kitchen of our dreams.  Some of us have to make our dreams fit into the space and budget we have available.  No shame in that!

I found this excellent article from HomeRemodelingBlog.com that discusses the best ways to get as much as possible out of that not-quite-big-enough kitchen.  Don’t live in quiet, barely controlled frustration – make that kitchen work for you.  Some of the suggestions made by the Home Remodeling blog are listed here.  The numbers and titles are from Home Remodeling.  The comments are mine!

1. Have someone assess the space that you have.  I love this idea.  When you have lived in a house for several years you may be focused too much on what you do not have.  A fresh set of eyes can look at that space and come up with some great ideas on how to fit most of what you want into it and make it look great.

Kitchen Design Ideas

Kitchen Design Ideas

2. Only settle essential things. This is a good one too – they emphasize simplicity over complexity.  Read it, it has some great ideas.

3. Mount you appliances on the walls.  This speaks for itself.  If that microwave is on the wall, its not on the counter, right?

4. Add hooks or railing on the walls.

5. Purchase a cart on wheels. Move it around, enough said.

6. Get rid of bulky things. Get rid of the clutter – stuff you don’t use but have a hard time getting rid of.  Take a deep breath and do it!

7. Make your oven multipurpose.  Recommends storing pots and pans in the oven; when you aren’t baking that is.

One of Rose Constructions Kitchen Remodels

A Rose Constructions Kitchen Remodel

Don’t forget; get an experts opinion and then get ready for your kitchen make-over.

Leave a comment

Filed under kitchen remodels, Remodel Kitchen & Bath, remodeling

Design Ideas

Coming up with remodeling concepts for your bath or kitchen can be very difficult.  Well, unless you are one of the lucky ones who has seen many kitchens and baths and have an abundance of ideas that you know will work in your home.

But many times one becomes dissatisfied with a room and just cannot figure out what would work in that space.  Due to the cost and inconvenience of remodeling you want to get it right the first time and end up with a room you will be happy with for many years to come.  The remodeled kitchen shown here is from a blog called:  www.kathysremodelingblog.com.

Small Kitchen Remodel with great flooring

Small Kitchen Remodel with Wonderful Wood Floor

Kathy has some wonderful ideas for all rooms of your home and even the outside, such as the entry porch.  An unusual aspect of this kitchen is that there are no upper cabinets!

A highlight of this kitchen is the wonderful wood flooring with a rich warm color that is so attractive.  The white backsplash, countertops and trim make a refreshing contrast with the floorboards.

So, get out there and check out kitchens and baths, even take some pictures and when you’re ready, you can go forward with lots of ideas and confidence, knowing how it will turn out in the end.

Be sure to get expert advice along the way and do your research to ensure getting a reliable contractor who is both honest and skilled to do the work.

Leave a comment

Filed under kitchen remodels, Remodel Kitchen & Bath, remodeling

Home Remodeling Sins

A humerous article I found recently at http://homrerenovations.about.com listed the error of hanging a towel rack using construction glue, instead of drywall mounts.  I can imagine when someone tried to pull a wet towel over that towel bar and it came crashing down on their still wet bare feet.  I sometimes put a lot of force on a towel rack, trying to pull a heavy wet towel through between the wall and the towel bar.

Maybe it would be good to hire a competent contractor to do home repair and remodeling projects around the house if that is the sort of workmanship one has time for!  No offense to the dedicated do-it-yourselfer!

Here is a link to a nice design website with some great ideas for efficient and eye-catching kitchen layouts: http://www.kitchenbathdesign.com/print/Kitchen-and-Bath-Design-News/Less-is-More–Design-Insights-for-Smaller-Kitchens-/2$5584

It is important to PLAN your new kitchen layout.  Many hours spent going over the plan, the costs and how it will fit with your tastes and lifestyle will pay off in the long run.  Do you prefer simplicity?  Or do you prefer many bright colors, details and patterns? 

The Kitchen & Bath Design website has lots of great ideas and explanations that help in thinking through ones choices before you spend the dough.

Happy remodeling!

Leave a comment

Filed under kitchen remodels, Remodel Kitchen & Bath, remodeling

Creating Additional Storage Space in Your Home

I found an article with great ideas on a way to create storage space in your home by utilizing “tight spots” that are just dead ends currently. The article is found on www.builderonline.com/design/built-ins-add-value-to-new-homes written by Jenny Sullivan.

The first idea and I think the most obvious, is building storage under stairs. I have seen this done by adding stud walls and covering with gyp board; then installing shelving to create a pantry for canned goods and other foods.  It makes it possible to buy things in bulk at a lower price and just pull from the pantry when needed. The one I saw was well organized and everything was dated, so it worked very well.

There is a wonderful picture in the article showing how one homeowner had space under a beautiful curving stairway built in with a desk and bookshelves. No walls were added, so it has an open look and adds to the warm feeling of the adjacent room with its natural wood and details that match the stair railing.

We have just completed a job where we built a closet under a similar stairway, creating a very nice closet for the homeowners that fit right into the room decor.

Don’t get the idea that only homeowners with small homes seek out “built-ins” for storage; they are a nice touch to any home, providing the fine detail and efficiency that anyone can appreciate.  Well designed details and master craftsmanship in construction create beautiful and efficient spaces in a home of any size.

Another home in the article had a beautifully remade kitchen with lots of built in wine storage created for an expensive collection of wines.

Think about your home and all those tight little spaces that could be made useful and at the same time add to the value and beauty of your home.

Leave a comment

Filed under Built in Closets