Choosing Appliances For Your Kitchen Renovation

Choosing Appliances For Your Kitchen Renovation

When I work with a client on a kitchen renovation project, I always start conversations with the new space’s appliance needs. When designing a kitchen, you can easily get distracted by all of the tile, countertop, and material selections involved with the kitchen renovation. However, the choice of appliances is always where I start as a professional. That is because the size of those appliances and the selection of appliances needed will dictate the overall kitchen layout. So the time to choose appliances is the in the very beginning. So how do we make our appliance selections?

Here are some of the questions that I ask clients when discussing appliance selections.

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ONE

What type of cooking do you want to be able to do in your new kitchen? Discussing the cooking needs, it’s essential because people use their kitchens very differently. Some people use their ovens more than their cooktop. Some people use a microwave more than anything, and some people don’t use their microwaves at all. The list goes on. Knowing exactly what type of cooking my client will be doing helps with steering them in appliance choices that they will be happy with.

TWO

Be realistic with your appliance goals. Double ovens are great; however, you need a certain amount of wall space for a double wall oven. Using a double wall oven may not be a great use of valuable wall space. It also might eat up an area that could be used for more countertop. So be realistic about the appliance usage. If you’re only going to use that second oven once a year, is it worth any space that you might be giving up for something else? Discuss this with your designer. Some kitchens with space limitations can be tricky. There are many ways that a double oven might be worked into a kitchen, depending on your layout. Be open to discussing your cooking needs with your designer And consider some new ideas.

THREE

Refrigeration needs can also vary significantly from household to household. Think about how much space you need for refrigeration and some of the features you would like to see in your new refrigerator. Your designer can help you meet these goals, specifically when you know what features you really would like to include in your refrigerator. Refrigerator drawers can also be a great option in kitchens short on wall space; this could also be an excellent feature for a large kitchen spreading out the refrigeration area from being in one place.

FOUR

Other appliances like dishwashers, microwaves, steam ovens, etc., all have unique features. Start the search by looking at the features of these appliances, how much daily usage they will get, and how well they will fit into the amount of space that you have in your new kitchen. Designers can help you evaluate these items and create the proper placement in your floor plan.

FIVE

Once you find the features you like in your appliances, then we start to look at finishes and details like handles, etc. Depending on the rest of your space’s design, size of your kitchen, and the overall look, your appliances don’t necessarily need to match. But there should be cohesive elements that tie them together and work well with the overall design.

SIX

Think about small appliances. Which small appliances do you use daily, are there features in your larger appliances that could eliminate the need for some of your existing small appliances? Think about what you use daily, and be sure to include it in your plan. Other small appliances seldomly used will need to be part of the new space’s overall storage plan.

 

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

Creating A Peaceful Retreat

Creating A Peaceful Retreat

One of the things that I have noticed in the last few months, as predicted, most people’s homes have turned into a multi-functioning area almost overnight. Homeowners everywhere are hurrying to keep up with the new lifestyle of working from home, schooling from home, setting up a home gym for working out at home, and the overall lifestyle changes that this has brought us. One of the things that I am hearing and seeing is that those moments of having a bit of quiet time for private thought or a place to retreat from a hectic day are now nonexistent in homes that are very active with families and children.

The abrupt lifestyle changes also explain why so many people are finally deciding to renovate their master bedroom or master bathroom. The need for creating a peaceful retreat right in your own home has become more critical than ever. While most people seem to be enjoying working from home, they are finding that they are putting in long hours and cannot get away from their work.

Of course, there are many ways that you can create a retreat right in your own home:

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ONE

Prepare for next summer’s outdoor renovation projects now. With the renovation at an all-time high, prepare beforehand to have a quality contracting team for the project. Lead times for ordering building supplies are longer than usual. Planning is everything, especially right now.

TWO

Make small changes using furnishings and decor to create a peaceful area for reading or relaxing. Make small changes in your furniture arrangement. It could create a feeling of privacy without adding additional space, such as a relaxing chair near a window with a view an area for books or your favorite projects or artwork could be created easily by moving a few things around in your home.

THREE

Take a look at any unused space in your home and involve a professional to help you visualize and create a private area in which to retreat. In a loft, a small room, or a place above the garage might work perfectly and you might not visualize what can be done, but involving a designer brings you a fresh set of ideas for the space.

FOUR

Re-think the current floor plan in your home. Sometimes even swapping rooms enable them to function differently. For instance, an unused dining room could be moved and swapped out with another room giving you more living space or more of an area to create a private reading nook or hobby area. Don’t be afraid to look at your current square footage and make changes to reflect your recent lifestyle changes.

FIVE

Of course, you certainly could create that luxurious master bedroom and bathroom suite that you’ve always dreamed of. At the end of the day, being able to retreat to a beautifully designed and customized space to create a restful environment will welcome improvement in your home. Think about everything you would love to include in the space and meet with a designer to find out how to best incorporate these ideas into a professionally designed Master suite project.

 

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

Your Design Goals For The New Year

Your Design Goals For The New Year

A new year means a fresh start! This year we welcome the new year with open arms as we look ahead and plan for the upcoming year.

After a year where just about everything revolved around your home, you might be thinking of some of the challenges your home presents and looking for guidance on making your home look great and function for your family and lifestyle.

An Interior Designer can make all the difference in the outcome of any of your upcoming projects. 

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ONE

Be open to getting a professional designer involved from the beginning. With so much access to “information,” it is easy for homeowners to assume that they can google their way through a project. I can assure you that this is not a great way to design a project and cause significant design and budget problems. Sadly most of these projects do not have the desired outcome, and often a professional designer is later called to correct issues causing further cost to the homeowner. Savvy homeowners call in the pros from the beginning recognizing the value of experience and ready to invest in professional services to get professional results.

Now, with the daily changes with suppliers, resources, and vendors and the increased demand for experienced contractors, the value of what a skilled professional designer brings to your project is more significant than ever.

TWO

Make a list of all long term design and renovation projects you would like to tackle in your home. Review this list with your designer; discuss your priorities. Listen to your designer’s advice about what makes the most sense regarding what to tackle first. Understanding the process and what is involved will help you phase your project in a way that avoids costly backtracking. Choose a designer with history and the experience to deal with phasing a long term renovation on a professional level, setting your project up for success right from the beginning.

THREE

List specific challenges with your home’s function and tell your designer how you want your home to feel. Some of the solutions that you might be thinking of might not necessarily solve your challenges. Listing your specific challenges, needs, and goals will help you ensure that your challenges are all addressed. Most pros will ask the needed questions to solve your design problems, but be sure to discuss them at your first meeting with a pro. Homeowners may have ideas on how to solve these issues; listen to what the pros bring to the table as they are looking at your home in a different light and with years of experience that they can add to your project. A great designer will listen to your ideas, create something that you love, and help you meet your overall goals.

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

Considering A Kitchen Renovation? Start Here

Considering A Kitchen Renovation? Start Here

This past year, we have realized that the kitchen is the heart of the home more than ever. It is the place where we prepare meals, but it’s also much more. It’s the place where we congregate with family, store our necessities, sort our groceries, and can even be the place where we do our school or work from home—a tall order for many of our kitchens.

Although many people are always dreaming about a kitchen renovation, many people are seriously considering this much-needed renovation project to meet their family’s needs. With the holidays approaching, our already overworked kitchens will be in full gear as many people prepare to spend the holidays at home. More than ever, this current year is the best time to assess the workings of our existing kitchen and how we can make improvements to meet all of our needs.

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The first step is to take notes on what is not working in your current space. Sometimes it takes a while to figure this out. Many people that move into a new house immediately think that they know what they want to do with their kitchen, but after living in the space for a little while, they have a much better idea of how the room functions. The advantage of thinking about that renovation for some time, you will have a good understanding of what needs to change. These notes are so valuable when you sit down with a designer to create your new kitchen space. In my over 20 years of designing kitchens for clients, I have learned that all clients use their kitchens differently, and although there might be some common needs for the kitchen space, those unique needs can be met by asking the right questions

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Here are some tips on how to evaluate your current kitchen space

ONE

Additional Storage is a common request for any kitchen renovation project. But something to take note of is what exactly do YOU store. How many large pots do you want to be able to store in your new kitchen? What do you keep as far as food storage items? Some people store lots of canned goods, and others need more refrigerated storage. How often do you shop for groceries? Look at what you are currently storing and what you would like to store in your kitchen space. How many small appliances do you own and use regularly? What needs to be accessible for daily use, and what could be stored to bring out when needed?

TWO

Appliances – What do you need for the way that you cook? How much do you cook? How much do you use your oven, how many burners do you use at once on your range? What elements are necessary, and what features should be luxurious and desired if you have the space to work them into your new kitchen design?

THREE

Countertop space – Do you have areas in your current kitchen that do not function well because of a lack of countertop space? Think about all the tasks you perform in your kitchen and think about difficulties. So often, we learn to operate within the confinements of our current space. Think about what would be ideal, and then your designer can help you achieve what is possible for your room, knowing what you would like to have.

FOUR

What additional tasks do you use your kitchen for? Do you work at your kitchen countertop? Do you bake regularly? If you entertain, what does that typically look like for you? A few people for dinner or a larger gathering?

FIVE

Items that need a home in your kitchen. Do you store other items in your kitchen besides kitchen items? Like I mentioned before, people use their homes in unique ways. Do you currently store paper products, cleaners, medical supplies in your kitchen? Art supplies for the kids? Are you presently storing kitchen items elsewhere in your home? Are these items that you would like to keep in your kitchen?

Again, you do not need to know how to solve all of these issues; just having a list of not only what you want to see in your new space design-wise, but what is needed for your kitchen to function better for you and your family, will help your designer create a space that meets your needs.

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

Country Estate Project- Kitchen/Family Room and Video Tour

Country Estate Project - Kitchen/Family Room and Video Tour

A few weeks ago, I showed you the transformation of the master suite. This week, I am excited to share a video tour of my finished country estate project. I would like to tell you about the transformation we did in this lovely home’s kitchen/family room area. 

Recently the home’s new owners contacted me to design an extensive transformation of the space. Dated cabinetry and materials, old appliances, and an inferior layout frustrated the new homeowners, who were very excited to see what I had planned for the space. 


This stately home is an older 1700s era colonial. In the 1980s, a large contemporary addition had been added to the back of this home, keeping the large old original fireplace but adding a multitude of contemporary features that were not fitting to the home.

The awkward kitchen layout did not allow for any flow into the kitchen but created a strange barrier you continuously had to walk around to get in and out of the confined small feeling kitchen. The two stairways added in the previous addition, a pink and brass spiral stairway, and a strange drop-down set of stairs into the family room created more strange barriers in this home.

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One of the things that I wanted to improve in this kitchen space is the flow from one room to the other it’s a vast space that’s open to a living area. I wanted to open things up to give them more seating, more entertaining area, and I wanted to open up the kitchen floor so that you didn’t have to walk around the peninsula to get into the kitchen space like the former kitchen.

I came up with a design that incorporated two large custom islands. Designing beautiful custom cabinetry allowed us to develop exactly the right sized islands with the room’s proper configuration. Creating needed storage, more entertainment areas, and countertop space drastically improved the space’s design proportionally and visually.

The stairways were both changed. The homeowners immediately removed the spiral stairs before the design. We updated the look of that oak stairway with gleaming white paint to tie in the architecture to the rest of the design project. The awkward set of stairs and existing cabinetry in the living space were all removed, re-configured, and re-built. Now you can walk right out of the kitchen area into the family room. All new custom cabinetry in the living area allowed us to create a larger walkway around the stairway, which was necessary for this family. It also allowed us it clearly define the family room area and display their beautiful collections.

This kitchen and family room did come with the most beautiful view of the surrounding fields and woodland areas, so I developed a color scheme that took advantage of nature’s artwork. My homeowner’s love of traditional design elements inspired me to create this space, which ties in perfectly to the original older, more traditional style architecture.

However, we also added state of the art Decor appliances, complete with interactive cooking technology, quartz countertops, gleaming hardware, classic fixtures, and custom furnishings. I hope you will take a few minutes to tour the space with me in the video.

Until next time,
Gia

From The Blog

Why I Should Hire A Designer To Furnish My Space

Why I Should Hire A Designer To Furnish My Space

As a full-service design firm, clients often come to us for complicated renovations, interior design, and the design and selection of construction selections.
The complicated nature of these selections can be maddening, and mistakes made can be costly. With hundreds of design selections needed during a renovation project, most clients are happy to have a designer to defer to and discuss these details when considering such a project.

However, sometimes when a client has room to furnish, they often think that this process will be much more straightforward and that they can quickly walk into a furniture store and get all of their needs met quickly. Unfortunately, the results are often less than the “designer look” that they expected.

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Selecting furnishing for a room or a home can be a very complicated process. The process involves much more than just picking pieces that you love. It involves a thorough knowledge of proportion, balance, proper space planning to create flow throughout the area, mixing of finishes, color undertones, and an understanding of mixing numerous fabrics to be harmonious. The design’s success relies on all of these details, and without a mastery of these skills, what could have been a beautifully designed room can fall flat on its face, regardless of the amount of money spent on furnishings.

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Reasons that you should have a designer furnish your space.

ONE

To create that luxurious well-curated designer look, furniture shopping should not be a one-stop shopping experience. A room with all matching furniture pieces looks like a furniture store display. A space created by a designer is much more exciting and much more visually pleasing. Sourcing pieces from numerous vendors and knowing where you can find what you are looking for, in the finishes, price points, and lead times needed. Special ordering or customizing items specifically to meet your needs. Your designer knows how to source items that work well together quickly and efficiently and what will not.

TWO 

Designers have access to hundreds of trade-only vendors to source products for your project. Not just the products that you can find at retail on the internet. Opening up a whole world of products and options that you might not even know exists. Even if you can “find” one of these options at a retail internet source, you will undoubtedly be paying more for that product. You have also wasted lots of time and energy, and will now have to hope for the best regarding ordering this product yourself from an unknown source. You will also need to deal with any shipping cost or complications involved with shipping the piece to your location. Many times freight shipping will not ship to a residential area, and you will have to source a private shipping company if you are not purchasing from a big retailer. Ordering from a designer, you merely have to approve the selection and await all the furnishings’ arrival at once. Designers often warehouse deliveries of furnishings, then transport everything to your home and install everything at the same time, including any art and accessories. The cost of this installation service is well worth it when you consider the endless hours, frustration, and errors that can make in this part of the process. With a designer, experienced skilled on board, the final results will be that customized designer look that you hoped to achieve.

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THREE

Most homeowners overestimate the amount of space they have and what furniture pieces will fit into it. The results will be furniture that either does not match the room or is unproportioned to the area. Or the furniture purchased might fit into the area but not where it’s intended, or with no room for proper space needed around items. A designer will create a floorplan and elevations of your space so you can see the entire room put together. Your design will show suggested pieces and the proper space plan for maneuverability throughout the area.

FOUR

A designer’s goal is to personalize the space for you. An experienced designer knows fabrics, finishes, and products that will work for individual circumstances. This wealth of information, knowledge, and creative problem-solving skills are what can make a room from just “ok” to “fabulous.” Creating longevity for your finished space. The durability of finishes and selections and a design that suits your needs for a very long time.

FIVE

Furnishing a room requires a financial investment. You’ll want to be sure that you love the results.

Until next time,
Gia

 

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