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Kitchen Cabinetry Selection Guide: Understanding Your Options

Kitchen Cabinetry Selection Guide: Understanding Your Options

Kitchen CabinetsSelecting kitchen cabinets is one of the most important decisions to make when planning a kitchen renovation. We find that there are four factors that homeowners and builders need to consider when selecting kitchen cabinets:

  1. Budget
  2. Quality
  3. Functionality
  4. Form (look)

Kitchen Renovation Budget

Cabinets are the largest expense in a kitchen renovation, representing approximately 50% of the cost of a kitchen remodel, according to industry surveys. Cabinet budgets are affected by a number of factors. The type of drawers, finishes and options selected will affect costs. We work with every client to help ensure that the budget is sufficient to minimize surprises and to help achieve their goals.

Factors Affecting Cabinet Quality

There are three types of cabinets offered from a kitchen and bath showroom:

  1. Stock (good)
  2. Semi-Custom (better)
  3. Custom (best)

Stock cabinets are pre-manufactured in set sizes, usually in 3-inch increments. Stock cabinets do not have many custom features or options and come in a limited range of styles.

Semi-custom cabinets also are pre-manufactured but generally offer more sizes and options than stock counterparts.

Custom cabinets are built to order without restriction on size, features, finishes or materials.

Another factor influencing quality and price are the materials used to manufacturer kitchen cabinets. These include particle board, medium density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, solid wood and laminate/melamine which is laid over a substrate. Particle board is the lowest quality material, and we do not often recommend it because particle board is not moisture resistant.

Additionally, quality is influenced by the type of construction techniques used to manufacture the cabinet and the durability of the finish which we explain the differences during the selection process.

Kitchen Functionality

A well-designed kitchen is an organized kitchen. A great first step to create an organized kitchen is to write down everything you like and don’t like about your existing kitchen. Most semi-custom and all custom lines provide an array of storage and organizational options for most commonly used kitchen items from food stuffs to cutlery.

Cabinet Forms

There are two types of cabinets: framed and frameless. Framed cabinets have a wood frame that outlines the front of the cabinet box. Hinges and door runners attach to the frame.

Frameless cabinets don’t have a frame. Hinges and door runners attach to the inside walls of the cabinet box. There are benefits to both cabinet types. Frameless cabinets provide more storage area and generally are associated with modern design motifs. Framed cabinets are typically associated with more traditional or transitional designs. 

The Number One Cabinet Storage Solution

The Number One Cabinet Storage Solution

Kitchen Cabinet Storage SolutionsPull-out waste and recycling bin cabinets were the top-rated storage solution in a recent Houzz.com survey of homeowners undertaking a kitchen renovation. This does not surprise us because of the heavy lifting recycling and garbage bins perform in a well-designed kitchen. Many of our customers prefer pull-out options to floor standing alternatives for the following reasons:

  • Aesthetics: When bins are hidden inside a cabinet or drawer, they are out of sight but easily accessible. We have yet to find garbage cans and recycling bins that improve the look and feel of a new kitchen nor do most bins that fit under the sink provide the functionality that our customers need and deserve.
  • Flexibility: Pull-out containers can be incorporated in any design motif. Recycling and refuse containers fit seamlessly into a deep drawer. When closed, there is no evidence that the space is being used for rubbish and recyclables. Depending on kitchen size, we may recommend more than one pull out cabinet for waste and recycling containers.
  • Functionality: Pull out bins are easy to use. Plus, many of our clients appreciate when we place the pull-out drawer below a butcher block insert or designated prep area that allows home cooks to easily sweep waste into a garbage or compost bin. A great idea for smaller kitchens is a drawer above the pull-out cabinet that has a cutting board insert with a hole in it that allows home cooks to sweep waste directly into the bin and hide the cutting board away when not in use.
  • Environmental efficiency: Pull out drawers makes it easy to recycle or compost. We’ve specified pull outs with multiple bins used for paper, waste, glass and metal.
  • Odor control: Leftover cooking and kitchen product waste and containers can produce unpleasant odors, especially if our client indicates a preference for a composting bin. In those cases, we will recommend bins with lids and models specifically designed for compost.
  • Budget friendly: There are systems that can be custom designed depending on cabinet selection, plus there are opportunities to incorporate pull-out containers in any underused space in the kitchen.

We understand that you might not place recycling bins and garbage disposal at the top of your priority list when you envision your new dream kitchen. That’s why we ask our clients lots of questions relating to how they plan to use their new kitchen, how often they cook and entertain and their environmental preferences, among others to help assure that our recommendations not only result in a beautiful new space but one that is equally fun and easy to use.

 

Bathroom Remodel Must Haves

Bathroom Remodel Must Haves

When it comes to bathroom remodels, most people hold steadfast to their utilitarian mind-set. Functionality should be absolutely top of mind while considering changes to a bathroom, but pairing that functionality with just the right amount of design is how you create a comfortable bathroom retreat.

We’re sharing with you our list of bathroom “must-haves” in hopes that you’ll find inspiration to design your perfect bathroom.

EVALUATION

The first step to planning your new bathroom is evaluating how you use your current bathroom. Consider things like: Do you absolutely need two sinks, or would you prefer more counter space? What about that oversized jet tub that never seems to be used? Can we exchange the tub space for a larger shower or storage area? Have you thought about adding privacy to the toilet area?

LIGHTING

People are always blocking out sources of natural light in a bathroom, but we say, let the light in! We understand privacy concerns, but have you considered a skylight? Skylights are great over a shower or vanity. We all can agree that natural light beats out fluorescents every time.

STORAGE

There really is nothing worse than an overcrowded bathroom countertop. Number three on our bathroom must-have list is the importance of designing storage into your space. You will need a place to tuck away all those pesky bathroom items in order to showcase your beautiful new countertops and sink faucets. When planning for storage, think beyond towels and toiletries. Combine open shelving storage with more functional, traditional cabinetry for an interesting bathroom design. Talk to your bathroom designer about what items you use on a daily basis, and what products you typically store in your bathroom, so they can design with these things in mind.

BATHTUBS

The number one comment we hear from clients is, “But I need to keep a tub for resale.” Guess what? If you don’t want a tub, why would the next homeowner? According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), deluxe showers are becoming far more popular than spa tubs. Moreover, forget the conventional shower in which you barely had enough elbow space. Building a luxurious open shower with a built-in bench and large glass paneling will change your morning routine to that of an Herbal Essence commercial! The idea of taking out the tub and using that space for a larger shower may bring on some initial apprehension, but after one week with your new shower, you’ll never look back. Oversized, luxurious showers are actually adding value to a future home sale while giving you morning perks in your daily routine.

COLORS & MATERIALS

In 2017, we’ll be seeing more natural elegances in the bathroom. This look is easily achieved by bringing light, neutral colors and tones into the space. There are countless new materials that are being perfectly crafted with bathrooms in mind. For example, porcelain tile is now being made to look like wood, and it’s awesome! These tiles come in almost as many options as real wood floors, but with no scratches, maintenance or waterproofing issues. Consider using these “wood” tiles throughout the master bedroom suite to create an open, seamless look. When it comes to shower and bathroom walls, rather than going with a classic white subway tile, why not spice it up? There are now oversized panels made to mimic natural stone, such as marble, that are quickly gaining popularity. This look creates a stylish, tranquil vibe with no grout lines to clean. Tile manufacturers are also offering fun, textured tiles, even some with 3D elements to incorporate into your design for an edgy flair.

MICROWAVES BLAZE IN O.C. KITCHEN REMODELS

MICROWAVES BLAZE IN O.C. KITCHEN REMODELS

Each year new trends and products catch fire and blaze throughout the home remodeling industry. One item that’s heating up is under-counter microwave drawer. Are you tired of that large, bulky appliance taking up your precious counterspace? Or how about all the extra storage you could get back if you didn’t have 30 inches of overhead kitchen cabinets being taken up with an outdated microwave?

Our design consultants always ask clients What do you want out of this kitchen remodel? and answers vary. Some say they love to entertain and their galley kitchen just isn’t working for them anymore. Others respond saying they need more space. Well, microwave drawers can be built into your under-counter cabinetry or placed underneath wall ovens, freeing up your treasured work space. They also function as a warming oven, so no need for those two cumbersome ovens anymore you get more space and the capacity to still cook for a larger group.

With the under-counter microwave you can stir your food without having to pull it out and the risk of burning yourself on hot plates is reduced. You can also cover the front of the microwave with a panel of cabinetry to make the appliance seamlessly disappear for a built-in finish. The options are endless: standard or flush mount; framed or unframed; popcorn or home-made macaroni and cheese. You should consider options such as the under-counter microwave when selecting appliances to incorporate into your kitchen remodel, but make sure to talk with your kitchen designer first. Your design consultant can  easily  accommodate for gadgets  like this when ordering cabinets and counter tops, but they need to know ahead of time.

KBIS 2012 REMODELING TRENDS

KBIS 2012 REMODELING TRENDS

The annual Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) recently drew thousands of professionals to Chicago’s McCormick Place, the site of the largest event in the industry.Many of the trends noticed by designers reflect what we are seeing here at Sea Pointe Construction. It’s true that the California kitchen and bath market is a leader influencing the rest of the country.

Trends that are currently being supported in the market include:

Dark and rich finishes to cabinetry (in keeping with the high contrast trend). Cherry is the wood species that takes dark stains well and therefore is a leading choice among designers.

The classic polished chrome has made a resurgence since it pairs so well with high contrast design, fits in many design styles (vintage, transitional, contemporary, etc.). Also it is a high value finish that allows remodeling homeowners to splurge elsewhere.

Glass backsplashes are everywhere! Besides adding sparkle to a room and adding depth and dimension, the variety of glass available allows homeowners to reflect their own style. Glass tiles, stone and glass mosaic mixes and full sheet back-painted glass panels are top of list for updating kitchens and baths.

Contemporary design styles are making advances in previously traditional markets. Traditional homes are incorporating contemporary design elements to create the transitional look while previous transitional styles are being updated to livable contemporary.

More contemporary toned tiles are being favored during bath remodels. The plank tile has quickly replaced the standard square tile as a preference and the classic chiseled edge, stone-look tile is getting hard to find as it’s been replaced by rectified edge tiles that can be set without grout being part of the look.Computer aided tile manufacturing has taken leaps forward with a larger variety of finishes that realistically suggest another material like fabric, wood, metals and rare stones.

Universal Design is a strong trend getting more popular.Bathroom design trends closely mirror those for kitchen. More and more homeowners requested adaptable and universal design features, including dam less showers and hand showers.  The open plan or great room that has been a staple for kitchen remodels has started to translate into bathrooms making the spaces more efficient, and opening by losing full and partial walls.

Kitchens are continuing to operate as the electronic hub of the home, with computer stations and recharging areas for electronic devices growing in popularity.The U-Socket Wall Outlet with built-in USB ports was named one of the Best of KBIS  It’s a great idea isn’t it?