• Storage. Organization. There is not much more we value or crave in the kitchen. And it is this “craving” that speaks to the growing trend of base cabinet storage in kitchen design. Some will say it’s never gone away, but with more base drawer storage options than ever its popularity has never been greater. We asked nationally recognized kitchen and bath industry expert Sarah Reep ASID, IIDA, CMKBD, CMG, CAPS and Director of Designer Relations & Education for Merillat Cabinetry about this. According to Sarah, trends in design indicate that base cabinet storage in the kitchen is more important than wall cabinetry right now. To that end, she offers insight on 4 reasons why we are seeing this surge in drawer design:

    Create base cabinet storage in your kitchen design

    • Open floor plans today provide more windows and less walls. Customers want more light brought into the home and a bigger open space to gather. This means less space to place wall cabinetry and a greater need for base cabinet storage.

    • Customers value easy access to stored items. Who wants to get down towards the ground to access a storage area? Customers prefer more drawers when they understand the value of this functionality.

    • Drawers can be selected based on depth to store like-sized items and also to compartmentalize. Select wide drawers to subdivide and create more long-term flexibility, or choose smaller width drawers to assist with organization.

    • Offering drawers as an option on how to best use the space is appreciated. Suggesting how to work in a space and live better at home ensure customers receive the best kitchen design for how they live.

    Reep adds that it is also important to note that drawer front styles and the sizes of drawers greatly influences the overall appearance of the kitchen design. A flat slab drawer may give a bit of a price break to the overall kitchen cost, but may sacrifice the design’s beauty whereas a five piece drawer offers a more unique or special finish treatment, in addition to design continuity.

    Consider these insights on base cabinet storage as you consider your own kitchen remodel. Beyond being “trendy”, adding drawers can be a productive way to create more functionality and better use space in the kitchen.

  • Small Kitchen Design? No problem!

    A small kitchen design is limited only by space and not by ideas. Your small, cramped kitchen may limit some options but it will inspire the creativity of your kitchen designer to create a small kitchen design that gives you as much to work with as possible. So what can make the greatest impact on a small kitchen design? Here are 3 ideas to help you go big with your small kitchen design:

    Pull Out Cutting Board and Knife Organizer

    •Kitchen Cabinet Accessories – when storage is at a premium in your small kitchen design, make the most of it with kitchen cabinet accessories. Roll out trays, drawer organizers, lazy susan’s, spice racks, door organizers and more can allow you do to more with the space you have. Even today’s blind corners offer kitchen cabinet accessories that use more space and bring what you are storing straight to you. Or consider a combination pull out drawer organizer and cutting board to pull out when needed for a little more countertop and space for food prep.

    •Space Saving Appliances – a small kitchen design often means fewer people to prepare and clean up for. And today’s appliance manufacturers offer more options than ever that can work very well in a small kitchen design. From space saving compact refrigerators to dishwasher drawers, you can use space in your small kitchen design more efficiently. Even full size microwaves can save space in a small kitchen design when you consider convection microwaves. Fit two appliances in one spot!

    •Light it up – the right lighting can punch up any space, especially a small kitchen design. Recessed lighting can be a great option to replace hanging light fixtures and open up a space more. Under cabinet and toe kick lighting can offer out of the way lighting for tasks and general safety that will brighten and open up your small kitchen design even more.

    No matter what you decide to do, it is important to start with a budget in mind. Even a small kitchen design and remodeling project can become expensive if you are not smart or careful about your product selections. Consider all the options that can give your small kitchen design a big impact without necessarily having to spend big dollars.

  • Baseball and the world lost a legend with the passing of Yankees great Yogi Berra. An on field star, he helped take his New York team to 14 World Series, winning a remarkable 10 of them. But as brilliant as he was on the field, it was his commentary and quotes that endeared him to millions and millions of baseball fans and beyond. We’ve taken a few of his most well-known quotes to talk about kitchen and bath remodeling:

    Yogi Berra on kitchen and bath remodeling

    Yogi said: You can observe a lot just by watching.
    Remodeling Translation: Do your research….on products, on styles, on companies. Talk to friends who are doing remodeling projects. Go online and create boards on Pinterest or Ideabooks on Houzz. There is a lot to consider in a kitchen or bath remodeling project.

    Yogi said: We made too many wrong mistakes.
    Remodeling Translation: Consider some professional help on your project. Avoid trying to do it all by yourself. You don’t want to look back on your project and find you made the same mistakes repeatedly. It would be like déjà vu all over again…

    Yogi said: A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.
    Remodeling Translation: Know your budget. If you have a nickel budget and dime tastes, you are in for a long and excruciating remodeling experience. Get an understanding of what kitchen remodeling or bath remodeling costs and what you should spend.

    Yogi said: The towels were so thick I could hardly close my suitcase.
    Remodeling Translation: if you find something you really like or want to splurge on, go for it! It can’t be on everything, but if there are 1 or 2 things that you feel could really make your kitchen or bath remodel special, then go for it. The #1 splurge item for both kitchen and bath remodels? Countertops.

    Yogi said: It ain’t over till it’s over.
    Remodeling Translation: Your project will take some time. It could be a change you decided to make. It could be a door to be replaced or a final walk through to confirm everything is done. The good news though…you will know exactly when it is over.

    If, as according to Yogi, baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical than we can say with great confidence that the emotional rollercoaster of remodeling is 90% emotional and the other half is…emotional. With or without a good plan and a kitchen and bath remodeling partner, you will experience the emotional high and lows of your project. When you come home and see your kitchen or bath torn out it takes everything you got to keep that 140% of emotion in check. Take a breath. It might just be that proverbial “fork in the road”. And according to Yogi, when you come to a fork in the road you take it.

  • What does a kitchen remodel cost? Thankfully, that’s not a million dollar question. But if we had a dollar for every time we were asked, “how much will my kitchen remodel cost” we might just be close to having a million dollars. The truth is, your kitchen remodel costs can be anything you want it to be. Here are 3 things that will have a big impact on your kitchen remodel cost.

    First, define your definition of a kitchen remodel. On the less expensive end that could be new cabinet hardware, a fresh coat of paint on the walls (or cabinets for you ambitious few) or maybe even a new countertop to freshen up a drab, dated kitchen. It could also be that you are moving and want to make some changes to improve the resale value of the home. Be clear on your expectations early on so you don’t get too charmed by the influence of remodeling shows and websites like Houzz that can quickly make your ideas for the kitchen bigger (as well as the kitchen remodel cost).

    Second, understand that kitchen remodel costs will vary based on the size of your kitchen. A small kitchen design may see less cost on cabinets, countertops and even appliances if smaller, space-saving sizes are considered for the space. A larger kitchen remodeling project that involves moving walls or plumbing may increase spending in certain areas as well. Be careful though. You can find your kitchen remodeling costs growing quicker than you expected in any size kitchen. The National Kitchen & Bath Association identified that kitchen remodeling costs on average will break down as follows:

    what does a kitchen remodel cost?

    Third, and finally, consider your future. Is this your forever home that you plan to retire in? The longer you plan to stay in your home the better the chance your kitchen remodel costs will be higher. And the truth is, you should splurge a little on cabinets, countertops or appliances (or maybe all) to fully enjoy your space. If you don’t plan to stay, then consider what makes the best sense for you and manage your kitchen remodel costs accordingly.

    The long standing guide is that a kitchen remodel cost should be 5-10% of the home’s value. Depending on how you define the above 3 things, your kitchen remodel cost could be below or above that or maybe just right in between. The choice is all yours.

  • It’s that time of year again. The end of summer brings a familiar feeling to many homes. Which is why we are convinced that starting a kitchen remodeling project is so much better than getting into “back to school” mode. Its’ flurry of new clothes, fancy supplies, new bus stops and routes, paperwork and early morning routines can completely disorient the entire family. We’re only a few days (or weeks) in but most have already had enough of this school daze.

    kitchen remodeling or back to school?

    Your new classroom?

    Need to snap out of it? Here are 5 reasons why starting a kitchen remodeling project this fall just might be the distraction you need.

    •NO early mornings! – Yup, school starts early. A new school year brings new morning routines that can disrupt the balance of even the best of families. Planning a kitchen remodeling project can be done at any time, often at your leisure without the worry of any early morning sirens.

    •NO car lines! – The Who said they “can see for miles and miles”, which makes you think they were in a car line of their own. When planning your kitchen remodeling project, come to the showroom and forget the long lines. Just park and come right in!

    •NO homework! – Well, not entirely true but if we are being honest…if your kitchen remodeling project is focused on creating your dream kitchen, can that really be considered homework?

    •NO cafeteria food! – Just forget about this one altogether. You’ll be selecting appliances that will turn every meal in your kitchen into something special.

    •NO report cards! – The student becomes the teacher and while you don’t get one, you do get to give one! This is your kitchen remodeling project. You’re the evaluator and every grade matters to us and everyone on the project.

    The reality is that neither situation is going to be at all like High School Musical. But unlike your school daze, a successfully completed kitchen remodeling project might just have you singing, dancing, cooking, hanging out and having fun with your whole family. Remember, we’re all in this together…