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Investing in the right Kitchen Designer is investing in you Home’s Value
One of the reasons we at Your Squarefeet love what we do is that our Kitchen Designs make such a huge impact on our customers lives. It’s not just a matter of having a new, beautiful Kitchen. A new Design can function better and improve the way people interact with their space, and subsequently with each other.We are Design and Remodeling Professionals for those of you who want the right Designs, Construction Services, and Information about the Real World of Remodeling. We can help you with full scale Remodeling Services from Design thru Management.
Or we can Design your project and help you brave souls that have the ambition to take on all or part of a remodeling project, but also have an idea of just how dangerous the remodeling world can be without the right advice that comes from the experienced Remodeling Professionalsat Your Squarefeet. We understand the Remodeling world can be confusing in many ways, from Installation techniques to Product selections and more. Designers can save you time, money, and best of all, give your Home the beauty and efficiency you want. All while increasing the Value of your Home.
Three Common Classes of Engineered Wood Flooring Boards
Good, better, best
Engineered flooring runs the gamut from the low end, starting at $3 per square foot, to the high, at $14 and more. To judge quality, check the thickness of the “wear layer,” or top skin of wood; the number of veneers in the core; and the number of finish coats—all of which affect price and warranty. Typically, the more layers, the better. Below, see how the three common classes of engineered boards stack up.
Good: 3-ply construction; 1-2 mm wear layer; 5 finish coats; 10- to 15-year warranty; ¼ inch thick; About $3-$5 per sq. ft.; Options limited to common species, such as oak or ash, and just a few stains.
Better: 5 plys; 2-3 mm wear layer; 7 finish coats; 15- to 25-year warranty; ¼ inch thick; About $6-$9 per sq. ft.; More species, such as cherry, beech, and some exotics; all stains and a few surface effects, such as distressing.
Best: 7-9 plys or more; 3 mm-plus wear layer, which can be sanded two or more times; 9 finish coats; 25-year-plus warranty; 5/8 to ¾ inch thick; About $10-$14 per sq. ft.; Widest selection of species; reclaimed options; and more surface treatments, such as hand scraped and wire brushed.
Why Hardness Matters
The harder the top layer, the more resilient it is to dents and the longer it’ll keep its like-new looks. But hardness isn’t the only factor to consider. Dense woods with less grain, like maple, show dings more readily than a slightly softer wood with a bold grain, like red oak. And floors with little or no gloss are better at hiding scratches and wear. The chart below compares the hardness of popular wood species.
Delivery is the second biggest problem you face when buying major appliances. It can be a major, time consuming hassle unless you know exactly what you are doing beforehand. We will show you the best way to sidestep many of the issues from scheduling to damage after the fact.
But let’s look at a seemingly unusual delivery that is more common than you think.
Look very closely at this picture:
This is a LG washer dropped by FedEx to a house in Boston two blocks from where I live. Nobody is around, and it was left without a signature.
So how can they prove it was delivered? Better yet how can they also prove it was not damaged or even not a lemon. These are hard questions to answer for a website in South Carolina shipping to the middle of Boston.
However, if you think I will rant about cboosing free delivery from internet appliance dealers, then you are wrong. Sometimes it makes sense. There are well advertised advantages. However, there are less than transparent problems as well.
Free Delivery Advantages
Free Delivery is well….free. So it is an immediate savings of the $79 or more charge. If you are a contractor who has his own guys or just placing a fridge in the garage, it makes sense. In many cases, you can also save the taxes.
Now, the Problem
Appliance service is the only bigger issue than delivery. Let me tell you why. First have a look at the pic again for some basic issues for washers.
Couple of issues to consider:
The washer is bigger and deeper than the existing, so delivery into a brownstone will not be easy for someone untrained
You own the liability of connecting water. Water leaks are an insurance nightmare, so it has to be installed perfectly
Appliances are more complex to install. LG has a new washer pedestal called the Sidekick. It has 34 different installation steps. That’s right…..34
Moving the old unit up stairs can be just as hard. BTW, trash day in Boston is Tuesday and Friday
In a tough decision, we stopped free delivery 7 years ago. However, we were delivering heavier appliances like Sub-Zero refrigerators and pro ranges on softer, designer floors. Even that LG washer now frequently goes upstairs in a bedroom closet which can be as difficult to install in a tight closet.
It was apparent to me that we needed a well-paid professional mover who could deliver without damage to your property or the product. So we had to charge for it.
That team should be able to deliver, perform basic installation, and remove your existing, old unit as well as the trash. That is a complete delivery often with two or three competent people.
So You Think “White Glove” or “Titanium Added Delivery” is Worth it?
Think again, many of these services will not include climbing stairs. They will not uncrate or remove the old product. Simple connection is also not the norm, and many cases you will pay much more for White Glove type services. So here is what you need to do:
You have to vet the entire process. How is it scheduled? Meaning how much time will you have to spend waiting? What are the notifications beforehand?
A delivery is uncrating, bringing up the stairs, removing the old and reconnecting the new. You have to ask what the above includes and make sure it is placed on the invoice
Here is an important tip. Never, ever sign for anything without completely inspecting the products for damage. When you sign, you will free the carrier and store of all liability
You should also protect yourself by checking the store on Google Reviews, Yelp and BBB for complaints.
Saving money is always a good idea, except when you end up spending more in wasted time and aggravation. Just do your due diligence beforehand.
I can give you all the logical and professional reasons for hiring a Kitchen Designer, but you should keep in mind the top 2 reasons.
Kitchens are EXPENSIVE, and you don’t have a CKD after you name. (Certified Kitchen Designer)
Kitchens are the most complicated rooms in our homes in both Design and Function. One mistake can cost you thousands of dollars and/or make your kitchen the ugly duck of the neighborhood. Now it’s true not all Kitchens are very complicated, but good Designers can take a bland Kitchen and turn it into a showcase Kitchen and increase the value of your Home.
For any size Kitchen Remodeling Project, first spend your money on a good, reputable Kitchen Designer. We all know we like the high end consumer products;Mercedes, Gucci, Burberry, etc…the reason we admire them is they are functional and beautifully DESIGNED.
Design is everywhere, in every product you use, for every product you choose. We have all seen even small cottages that seem to have stepped out of a fairly tale – chances are there’s a great Designer behind that door.
A good Designer can take quality, moderately priced items and and improve the value of your home with great design both in function and beauty. Whether you meet with a designer in person, or have an online designer, your project will reap the benefits.
Kitchen Design is a unique and detail oriented profession that must balance the architectural commandments of form and function to the highest degree. It is the juxtaposition of fine design against working functionality that must be blended to create a beautiful, and practical, Kitchen for Today’s Lifestyle.
A kitchen can typically involve as many tradespeople as building an entire home. A Kitchen Designer must be experienced with all trades that are involved in construction as well as constantly keeping up with all new products for the Kitchen and Bath Industry.
However you choose to remodel your Kitchen, always consider the value of a CKD Designer, (Certified Kitchen Designer). The right Design and the right products can optimize your return on investment, in some areas, as much as 100% or more the first year, (see Cost vs Value for your area). Whether you meet with a Designer in person, or have an Online Kitchen Designer, your Kitchen Remodeling project, and your Home, will reap the benefits.
Ann Sacks has a new line of ceramic tiles inspired by the lovely and colorful traditions of Spain. You can’t help but be transported to a vibrant world of sun and warm wonderful people that celebrate life in all it’s color and glory when you see their new Ceramica Pintada collection.
The unsurpassed quality and execution of our Ceramica Pintada collection is evident at first glance. Inspired by the popular Cuerda Seca technique originating in Spain, each tile is handcrafted by skilled artisans. Available in a variety of designs and a myriad of colors to complement any interior.
Samsung Electronics America to Acquire Dacor as Part of Home Appliance Portfolio Expansion into Luxury Market
Samsung Electronics America, the South Korean electronics company announced itsacquisition of Dacor, an American maker of luxury appliances known for their Android connectivity and sky-high prices. Samsung’s purchase seems to signal the company’s continued interest in expanding its own smart home offerings.
The acquisition marks Samsung’s continued investment in the home appliance market and an expansion of its portfolio to include ultra-premium home appliances under the Dacor brand.
Dacor, founded by Stanley M. Joseph, the California-based company has been designing and manufacturing American-made luxury kitchen appliances since 1965 and has emerged as a trusted industry leader. Upon completion of the acquisition, Dacor will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics America. Dacor will maintain its corporate identity and brand, with no changes to its operations and US-based manufacturing.
Samsung is America’s fastest growing home appliance brand and continues to deliver products with premium design and exemplary performance. With a deep understanding of the consumer marketplace, Samsung is redefining the appliance category with innovations that bring convenience into the modern lifestyle of consumers for a truly connected experience in the home.
Most of us have some particular design inspiration that we have always wanted to have in a new Kitchen design. I have a client that desperately wants a La Cornue range. So if you have a dream of this particular sort, don’t disappoint yourself when you are remodeling a Kitchen, it could be your only chance. Even if your budget is tight, there is usually a way that a good Designer can help you find a way to achieve your goals. Your Designer can help you with your overall budget determining whether or not custom cabinets are a priority or semi-custom will fit the bill just fine. Maybe a distressed oak butcher block countertop for the island would look great rather than granite. White stock subway tile with a grey grout in a herringbone pattern may be all you need for a beautiful backsplash that doesn’t compete with the pattern of your countertop afterall.
Whatever your kitchen design inspiration may be, talk about it with your Kitchen Designer. Chances are, they will be able to make it happen.
Are you sure you know the very basics of how kitchen cabinets differ from each other in both price and construction?
It all starts with the box construction, framed or frameless. The American version has been framed for a very long time. Framed is a pretty descriptive term, there is an actual frame overlayed on the box from which the door is attached and the drawer is mounted. Frameless is typically the European version. No frame, the door is attached to the box itself, as is the drawer glides. There are differing opinions about which is best for which application depending on which door style and which box construction, etc., etc., etc. The key to this decision is back to actual box construction material. You will want to find out if it is “all wood”, (by the way – there is no such thing, its really plywood), or which type of particle board or MDF – the types can vary depending on which price point you are in. You also need to consider Door and Drawer styles. There are different construction methods as well as different hinging and glides that truly make a difference in both appearence and function. All of these factors determine how kitchen cabinets wind up in different pricing structures, ie., Custom Cabinets, Semi-Custom, Stock.
Kitchen or Bath Remodeling is something you only do every 15- 20 years or so. You want to make sure you get it right. Your best resource is a Certified Kitchen Designer. Visit our website page about Kitchen Cabinets for a full review.
They can be show-stopping or supportive, historical or modern, and everything in between. When it comes to countertop materials and design, it seems nothing is off limits these days, as shown by several designers KBDN visited with this month who have used everything from artisan and crystallized glass to reclaimed barn wood and graphic granite to copper with a living finish. The assortment of countertop materials they’ve used in the designs they shared proves that countertops are anything but ordinary.
Designer: Jason Landau, owner/designer, Amazing Spaces, Briarcliff Manor, NYMaterials Used: polished Stone Wood granite (island); Espresso Caesarstone (perimeter)
Desired Look: This client wanted a kitchen that leaned toward the modern side of transitional. “She also has slightly funky taste and she likes to have something different than everyone else. When she saw this granite slab, it really struck a chord with her.”
Achieving the Look: Resembling petrified wood, Stone Wood granite features dramatic variations of yellows, golds, creams and browns and is anything but ordinary. “Granite can be interesting, but you have to look for it. The good stuff comes and goes. I try to keep unique slabs in mind for projects, and I like to suggest the unusual. It’s always fun when I find the appropriate person.”Landau wanted to create a strong focal point in the kitchen when viewed from the adjacent family room, so he complemented the island top with a backsplash cut from the same granite. “We both liked the idea of a striking graphic image, then sprinkling it around elsewhere in the design.”
The designer balanced the visually ‘strong’ granite with Espresso Caesarstone quartz for the perimeter countertops. “Generally, my rule of thumb is that, when mixing countertop surfaces, you only have one that is a pattern. You don’t want too many patterns competing with something that is very graphic such as the Stone Wood.”
Most Creative Aspect: Two ideas transform this kitchen, he notes. One is the graphic nature of the granite. The second is that Landau color-matched a few cabinet pieces with the appliances, and this harmonizes with the quartz as well as some veining in the granite and adds depth and interest. “It’s no longer just another white kitchen. This space would look a whole lot different with a more ‘average’ granite.”
Countertops’ Role in a Kitchen: “Countertops can do a number of different things. They can take center stage, like in this kitchen. Or, they can play a supporting role to the cabinetry or other design elements…to be a nice balance or blend to the overall recipe of the kitchen…a little bit of cabinetry, a little bit of countertop, a little bit of flooring and backsplash.”
Trending Countertop Materials: Quartzite is coming on strongly, which has a density close to granite, but has a more marble-like appearance, Landau notes. “A lot of people love the idea of marble, but they’re afraid to use it because it’s more porous, less dense and, therefore, more prone to damage, especially to staining.”
According to Dave Burcher, CKD, of New York City’s In-House Kitchen, the changing role of pets in Home Design is what’s currently driving the trend toward design that accommodates pets as well as people. He explains, “I think the overarching idea is how do we, as consumers, view the animals we live with? We’ve begun to see them as members of the family and, as a result, we’re integrating them more into our daily lives, and our homes. And that colors our design. They’re family, and we’re designing for family, and I think that trend will continue to grow.”
Just as a designer may make a space more comfortable for aging family members by including easy-grasp handles, better lighting, fashionable grab bars or wheelchair-accessible walkways, or address children’s needs by providing a child-height refrigerator drawer, they can also address pet needs by incorporating niches for pet beds, storage for pet food, toys, leashes and accessories, fabrics and furniture that hold up well to paws and claws, or a bathing/grooming area to simplify pet clean up.
And, in many cases, they can do this using their existing skills and existing products, merely adapting these to work for the pet’s specific needs, he says.
As Burcher points out, “When we talk about designing spaces to accommodate these needs, what we have to realize is that we’re already doing these things – we’re just not thinking about them this way. There’s no difference between doing this for people and pets. So why not make ourselves more valuable in the market to homeowners who have pets and want their homes to be comfortable for them, too?”
He believes this can be done with everything from pet-friendly flooring and easy-care fabrics and materials to re-imagined storage spaces, built-in sleeping niches and feeding areas, bathing/grooming areas designed to be accessible to pets and even pet-friendly exercise areas.
Dogs, in particular, are “pack animals,” which means they like to be with their family. But cats, too, often like to “hang out” with their people. So how do you create spaces for them to relax near the family, without getting in the way?
As Burcher notes, “Our pets want to be with us and we want to be with them, so we have to look at where the activities happen in the home and where we can craft that space for the animals. The kitchen is typically the biggest gathering space in the home and we spend the most time there, so that’s a natural fit.”
However, the need varies depending on whether one is accommodating a 100-lb. golden retriever, a 10-lb. cat or a couple of 15-lb. Yorkies. If it’s practical, Burcher recommends “creating a low shelf out of cabinetry or creating a crate-style space out of cabinetry” that keeps the pet nearby, but out of the main traffic flow. Window perches can also provide a quiet spot for a cat to sunbathe or a small dog to relax and watch the world go by.
Color coordinated dog beds can also be integrated into an entryway or alcove in the kitchen, or an adjoining room that looks into the kitchen.
Of course, sometimes, a pet needs to be confined to a specific area for safety reasons. While furniture-style crates provide one stylish option, Burcher points to a kitchen remodel he completed where elegant hideaway gates became part of the design, making it easy to confine a pet as needed or keep them out during cooking or dining (see photos, above right).
Bathing or grooming areas are also seeing increased interest among pet owners, according to Burcher, who notes, “These spaces are being integrated naturally into the laundry room or mud room, as these rooms are usually off the rear or side of the house where people are bringing the dog in or out. I think there’s also a real trend with luxury home builders offering these as an option for homes they’re building.”
And, as pet ownership continues to grow in apartments and upscale city dwellings, he sees “builders creating spaces where all of the tenants can use a shared grooming/bathing space in the building for their pets.”
Once again, adaptation of existing products makes these spaces a natural fit for the talents of design professionals accustomed to creating bathing and showering spaces. He explains, “There are so many choices – both modern and traditional – with handshowers and pull-out faucets, tile shower basins, fiberglass or cast iron shower pans. And you adapt it to the need. So maybe you raise that a foot or two off the floor, provide little steps for the dog to climb up, lower the shower doors so that you can reach over them – in short, you go with products and design ideas you’re already using, you just change the size to fit.”
Wood-Mode recently launched a ‘Pet Parlor’ concept space, which incorporates everything from a built-in pet fountain with faucet system, custom hideaway dog dish drawer with adjacent food storage bins, integrated lockers for leashes, collars and accessories, extra-large sink for bathing/grooming and island with integrated doors and cabinets.
And Burcher expects other manufacturers to jump in on this trend in the future. However, he believes that, with the level of customization today, designers can easily repurpose existing products to meet pet needs in the home, noting that doing so gives designers a competitive edge in marketing to the growing demographic of pet lovers.
Just as people require storage for their “stuff” – whether food, cookware, bathing supplies or electronics – pets, too, come with their own collection of “stuff.” For a dog, that might mean finding space for a dog bed, toys, food, leashes, poop bags and medicine, while a cat will also need a private space for a litter box and scooper, and fish will need a fish tank plus space for food, water additives, etc.
Many times, existing storage products can be easily adapted to pet supplies. For instance, Burch notes, “Pull-outs originally designed for trash or recycling (which have a large capacity and can hold a lot of weight) are being repurposed for pet food; it’s a really natural fit for that. Likewise, bread bin inserts with stainless steel pieces are really well adapted for this as well.”
Cabinets can include interior fittings perfect for hanging leashes or storing pet supplies, he notes. Likewise, cabinet drawers can accommodate pet food and water dishes that can be pulled out during meal time, and tucked away when not needed. Furniture pieces can accommodate everything from aquariums to shelving that doubles as cat perches.
Additionally, evolving pet care trends can also impact pet-friendly design trends. For instance, the growing movement toward home cooking or raw feeding pets might drive the need for additional refrigerator space, or perhaps a secondary point-of-use refrigerator drawer to be used exclusively for pet food.
Some pet owners even look to incorporate exercise areas for their pets – everything from wider walkways to facilitate play to shelves for cats to climb or even side-by-side human and dog treadmills. As Burcher notes, “The way we think about our own bodies and exercise and health needs is being integrated with our needs for our pets. That might mean adapting a space into an exercise room so they can exercise together. As a health conscious person myself, seeing how we can integrate our health needs with our pets is really interesting to me.”
He also suggests that designers looking to accommodate pet needs consider how pets move around a space, the same as they would with humans. For instance, he notes, “Cats have very specific ways of moving through spaces that impact design. They need multiple points of entry and exit from a room, and offering that creates more harmonious spaces.”
Even pet issues can provide clues that help with the design process. He explains, “Often, when pets engage in destructive behavior, they’re really saying, ‘I’m frustrated because my needs aren’t being met.’ Their negative behavior can define our positive design results. As designers, we need to solve problems, and if we listen to our pets, the negative things they’re doing can really tell us the solutions that they’re looking for in the space.”