Wall Ovens – Easy open doors

Bosch side opening wall oven

Wall oven with side opening door

Just like a microwave - sideways opening doors

Just like a microwave – sideways opening doors

Last year Bosch introduced it’s Benchmark Series double and single wall ovens available with either left or right hand side-opening door options.    These side-opening door wall ovens have been popular in Europe for some time now and are gaining popularity.   Mounting these ovens at just the right height for the user provides the perfect ergonomic solution to assist with cooking and keeping reach level at an easier comfortable height.   The side-opening  doors open out and away from the body allowing one to reach in and grab a dish without scorching your forearms as a conventional oven inadvertently always seem to catch you at least once a year!

When planning for new appliances review the newer ergonomic options available

Designing with White Kitchen Cabinets , Fairfax, VA

White Kitchen design with custom wood cabinets

White Kitchen design with custom wood cabinets

Kitchen design for 2014 highlights White Kitchen cabinets as the top finish with many homeowners. One of our favorite kitchens showcases contemporary white wood kitchen cabinets without the antique glazed finish that retail cabinet manufacturers promote for an additional surcharge. Wood cabinet doors expand and contract creating a separation at the mitered or box cut corners and cabinet manufacturers only offer a glazed finish for white wood cabinetry knowing that the corners will create a gap and unsightly condition – this is the reason glazing became so popular, the added glazed finish detail hides the corner conditions that will in time become apparent however the design is hardly contemporary or modern. This is the reason why most cabinet manufacturers offer white cabinetry as Thermofoil construction only. Thermofoil is MDF construction with a melamine paper cover and while a cheaper alternative feels inferior to wood cabinetry and is apparent in the feel and look.

Contemporary White Wood Kitchen Cabinets

Contemporary White Kitchen design for timeless appeal

In this Kitchen Alder Wood Door panels were ordered to size and our local contractor built and finished all wood cabinets to our specifications, creating a timeless white wood cabinet.

Classic white kitchen cabinets custom designed and built by local cabinet-maker optimize every inch of space with custom cutlery inserts, base drawers, tray storage, spice rack, appliance garage and toe kick drawers.  Center island finished with an industrial spray paint by ScrubbMaster in a soft teal gray color is maintenance free. The color is also used as accents for the light rail and appliques to continue the design theme throughout the space.

Custom white wood kitchen cabinets

White Kitchen cabinets, custom designed with Greek Revival Crown molding

Accent shelves add drama with glare free lighting and break up the look of all cabinet walls. Double height wall cabinets add the illusion of a taller than standard 8′-0″ ceiling height for this 1980’s home remodel. Coastal colors and Greek revival crown molding add a Mediterranean flair for a classic timeless Kitchen design.

Upholstered Bench Seat

Custom Bench Seat adds storage to dining area

White Kitchen design, wood cabinets

Two tone cabinets add character to this white kitchen design

Kitchen Center Island

Custom Center Island design finished with an industrial spray paint in soft teal gray color

Kitchen toe kick drawers

Toe kick drawers for added storage of placements and grill accessories

White Kitchen design with custom wood cabinets

White Kitchen design with custom wood cabinets

Great Room open plan dining area

Great Room Dining area with custom bench seat off remodeled Kitchen

Kitchen Remodeling on NBC House Smarts

We were fortunate to have House Smarts Michael Ayala interview us and our client for an upcoming episode of House Smarts airing on NBC this weekend, May 11th and 12th.

Small Kitchen Remodeling, Centreville, VA – maximizing storage space and finishes that create an old world Tuscan Charm. The slate floor was installed years earlier with a home remodel and the Kitchen was fully redesigned recently. Kohler’s smart divide sink is one of the client’s favorite features with graceful curves making clean up a breeze.

Small Kitchen 14 Centreville VA
Kraftmaid distressed maple cabinets, granite coutners and stainless steel Jenn Air appliances – a greenhouse window was added above the sink to allow for more daylight into the small kitchen space. Adding a new window above the sink with great design adds positive energy to your daily life where you stand many times during your day.

Small Kitchen Centreville, VA
Uplighting fixtures from Kichler add height to a normal 8′-0″ ceiling and reduce glare and overhead heat from down lamps.

Small Kitchen 5 Centreville VA
The refrigerator was moved over from the entrance and allowed a landing counter at the entry to the room which opened up the space dramatically. A tall pantry storage cabinet was banked with a counter depth refrigerator creating much needed storage.

Small Kitchen Beautiful Backsplash Detail
Italian crackle glazed tiles with intaglio and glass tile accents add classic timeless elegance; backsplashes are the jewelry of Kitchen design.

Small Kitchen Kohler Smart Divide Sink Centreville VA
Kohler’s smart divide porcelain sink in Sandbar color, stylish and functional – graceful cureves are easy to clean over the newer model zero radius sinks.

Wood Floors – for Kitchens now being seen in Bathrooms

 

We are often asked what flooring to install in Kitchens and our recommendation is that the flooring of choice for over 15 years along the Northeast corridor is wood flooring.  Wood floors provide a warmth in appearance and texture, are easy to clean and if you drop something it may not break and most important they are not as taxing on your physical body.  Hardwood floors have natural variation in grain and texture and add warmth to any room or space.  They are hard enough to withstand daily living, will last for 25+ years and may be refurnished many times to maintain appearance (green design).   In Kitchens we select beautiful area carpets, with griper padding to cover major pathways and standing areas which add acoustic value and splashes of color.  At the kitchen sink if you are having standing issues you can get anti-fatigue mats and use them as padding under your beautiful area carpets.  Wood floors may be sanded, refurnished, recolored and brought back to their original lustre many times over their life span.  One never tires of the natural look of hardwood – it is the greener choice and your feet will thank you.

Farmhouse Kitchen - Wood Floors with Classic White Cabinets

Farmhouse Kitchen – Wood Floors with Classic White Cabinets

Now with Aging in Place being high on the minds of most remodeling projects designers are moving away from the old adages that wood floors were not used in bathrooms.  What if you had a flood or the tub overflowed with small children playing.  These are the typical excuses why bathroom design has always utilized tile flooring.  We are seeing more and more upscale bathrooms – homeowners where the kids have grown, being designed with Luxury Vinyl Tile wood plank  flooring.  The warmth of real wood adds much peace and calmness to any space that a cold tile will never accomplish, additionally your feet, ankles and knees will thank you when they no longer stand on a hard cold surface daily.

Master Bathroom < Idea House Photo Tour

Master Bathroom < Idea House Photo Tour - Southern Living

– Southern Living.

Tile floors while beautiful with many selections, designs and patterns are very hard underfoot, always cool to the touch (no barefoot comfort), slippery when wet and everything you drop generally breaks.  Our main concern with Tile floors is that they are not good for people’s knees, ankles and feet. Standing on a tile floor provides undue stress on your body and most people stand in the Kitchen quite a bit cooking and cleaning.  Tile floors are work nicely in areas of the country such as Florida, Texas, Colorado, etc. where higher temperatures and increased air conditioning needs benefit from the cool surface of tile flooring.

The latest porcelain tile designs, growing at a spectacular rate include porcelain tile that looks like real wood.  The simulation is incredible in that the tiles actually do look like real wood.  Porcelain tiles are at least twice the cost of a LVT wood floor, heavy for floor loading and they are cold under foot;  great for pets who love to lay on a cold surface.    They can crack under undue heavy pressure and are not easily repaired.  Tile floors always have grout lines which are a constant source of maintenance.  Keeping grout clean is a homeowner’s nightmare and generally the tile floors need replacement in 10-15 years. Newly laid tile flooring is beautiful however the grout needs cleaning and replacement over time, within several years the color or design style will be out of date and you or the next owner will replace the floor; ripping it up & throwing the tiles into a landfill if not reclaimed by a quality recycling manufacturer.

If you love tile floors you can always add radiant heat with an additional cost to the remodeling project, additional energy usage and one more maintenance item for your home.  Save these beautiful upgraded porcelain tiles for the shower walls.

Remodeling your bathroom – think Luxury Vinyl Tiles in Wood Plank versions for a classic, elegant timeless look that you will not grow tired of.

 

Home Appliance Updates

Steam Dryers for the longer life of your clothes

We just learned from one of our local vendors that Dryers are now available with STEAM
Steam in dryers can provide a softer laundry, wrinkle free and no need of ironing. Worn an article once and would like it nice and fresh – toss in steam dryer for 20 mins. and the dryer will produce warm steam to remove odors and wrinkles. Love the idea – definitely worth considering for your next Dryer purchase.

Looking for a new dishwasher – check out this site for tips on size and features to suit your needs:
http://dishwasherreviewshq.com/

Dishwasher features, size and ideas

Kitchen Remodeling Toe Kick Drawer

The best options for base cabinets in Kitchen design today are drawers. Drawers provide more useful storage, are easier to use and cost less than door cabinets with roll out shelves. Roll out shelves are designed to retrofit existing Kitchen base cabinets when you are not replacing your cabinets. If you are purchasing all new cabinets for your kitchen definitely think drawer storage.   Highlighted in this photo is the hidden baseboard toe kick drawer.  A great place to store place mats and grill accessories. Provide them where ever they make sense and you will find they are very useful for dining table linens and much more.

Above the toe kick drawer are (2) 36″ width base drawers.  Vertical dividers are used to separate the interior space for storage coffee mugs, tall to go water bottles, coffee, teas and K-cups for the buffet bar area with the smaller prep sink.   30″ width drawers are in the Center Island with a custom insert for knives in the top drawer.  The lower drawers are utilized for colanders, small tray storage and dog accessories.  Drawers can be outfitted with peg board inserts for dinner plates, bowls or pots and pans storage.

This custom Center Island is finished with a Teal Gray Metallic Industrial spray paint that wears like iron.  The paint finish is also used on the light trim molding below the upper cabinets and as an added flat pyramid shaped embellishment on the cabinets which end on the countertop.  This keeps the color flowing throughout the otherwise white kitchen and adds a soft timeless finishing touch to the custom cabinets.  The baseboard is actually plastic laminate finish that coordinates perfectly with the teal painted finish.  No one can tell the difference and the plastic laminate is perfect for maintenance issues.

Ordering new cabinets – think drawers, drawers and more drawers!  Multi-purpose, customizable, easy to use, practical and budget wise drawers win out.